Shellac are a Post-Hardcore and Math Rock band from Chicago, Illinois. They were founded in 1992 by recording engineer Steve Albini and drummer Todd Trainer and were later completed by bassist and fellow recording engineer Bob Weston.
They are by far the longest-running and most stable band of Steve Albini and are notorious for their abrasive sound, dark and edgy lyrics and their antagonistic stage presence. They are noted for their minimalist sound and absurdly well-recorded albums. They cover the middle ground between the previous two Albini-led bands, the aggressive Big Black and the more technical Rapeman.
- Steve Albini - Vocals, guitar, recording (credited as "velocity")
- Bob Weston - Bass, vocals, recording (credited as "mass)
- Todd Trainer - Drums (credited as "time")
- At Action Park (1994)
- The Futurist (1997)
- Terraform (1998)
- 1000 Hurts (2000)
- Excellent Italian Greyhound (2007)
- Dude Incredible (2014)
This band provides examples of:
- All Drummers Are Animals: Played straight and taken Up to Eleven by Todd Trainer.
- Break-Up Song: The album 1000 Hurts is an album with hate-filled breakup songs with romantic lines such as:He'll fertilize the rice in ChinaWith the cinders of his remains
- The Cameo: None other than voice-over legend Ken Nordine in "Genuine Lulabelle", then 87 years old. The same song also features Matt Chapman of Homestar Runner fame.
- It's pretty much the Funny Moment of their discography.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Todd Trainer. Imagine Kramer was a drummer.
- Denser and Wackier: Excellent Italian Greyhound. A cameo by a cartoon character, a dog on the cover and a goofy self-parody as a closer.
- Drummers Love Dogs: Trainer and his dog Uffizi.
- End of an Era: "The End of Radio" from Excellent Italian Greyhound.
- Epic Rocking: "Il Porno Star" shifts gear a few times just to end in a noise melt-down.
- Subverted with Didn't We Deserve a Look at You the Way You Really Are, a 12 minutes long, heavily repetitive track.
- Expy: The Shoe Song from 1000 Hurts is a homage to Slint's Good Morning, Captain.
- Including the distinctive I MISS YOUUUU scream.
- Indecipherable Lyrics: Almost every song, given the nature of Albini's vocals.
- Intentionally Awkward Title: "Il Porno Star".
- Excellent Italian Greyhound just seems odd in context.
- In the Style of...: "The Shoe Song", in the style of Slint.
- Large Ham: Steve Albini. His sidekick Bob Weston has his moments too.
- Lighter and Softer: The b-side "Billiard Player Song" is far more melodic and introspective than the rest of their output.
- Loyal Animal Companion: Todd Trainer's dog Uffizi.
- Mind Screw: "I'm a plane" from "Wingwalker".
- Mohs Scale of Lyrical Hardness: Not as cruel as Albini's lyrics for Big Black, so a solid 8.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: At least a 9. Yes, they are serious.
- New Technology Is Evil: All albums and singles are recorded with analogue equipment.
- Nice Hat: Albini's fedora.
- Noise Rock
- Perishing Alt-Rock Voice
- Perspective Flip: "Canaveral" (quoted up above) is a song from the perspective of the husband of one of the many women John F. Kennedy slept with. The tone is quite venomous
- Precision F-Strike: "Prayer to God", suddenly interrupting the tone of the "prayer". Later evolves into a Cluster F-Bomb.Fucking kill him.
- Rock Trio
- Serious Business: This band is serious about everything, whether they sing about killing someone, self-harming teenagers or radio broadcasts.
- Signature Style: Noisy guitars, brutal yet precise drumming, distorted basslines and absurdly well-recorded albums, justified as Albini and Weston are skilled recording engineers. Shouted vocals low in the mix are a given.
- The Sociopath: Steve Albini's persona in Shellac songs.And it makes you feel betterThey're your armsIt's none of my business.
- Something Completely Different: A band like this would be the last to be featured on mainstream television, but they were interviewed on an episode of Dogs 101 about Italian Greyhounds with most of the focus being on Trainer and Uffizi.
- The Something Song: "The Shoe Song" and "Billiard Player Song".
- World of Ham: At Action Park is all shouting or passive-aggressive hissing.