Shellac is a band whose members are famous for being super tough nerds. I don't know how they (and most specifically Steve Albini) have managed to gain their reputations as complete hard asses, almost the equivalent of the high school bullies of the "indie rock" world, while at the same time being such nerds who obviously know their multiplication tables really well and are looking for an opportunity to show this fact off. All I know is that, under normal circumstances, toughness and nerdiness are not two personality traits that can peacefully coexist. If you were to put a complete hard ass and a member of the computer club in a room together, I would bet that sooner or later somebody would get their so called "s" kicked out of them. I'd increase the odds of this happening if you put the complete hard ass and the nerd into a cage match cage and filled the audience with pretty boys and sensitive boys and drama club boys and maybe one or two bona fide computer club nerd boys (all of these people don't have to be nerds, just people culled from groups that the high school complete tough ass would perceive to be nerds) who were all taunting the complete tough ass with comments such as, "being a tough ass is very passé," and, "yes, he is right, complete tough ass--completely played out, more like," and "yes, you should tap into your sensitive feminine side like us pretty boys and sensitive boys have, you bad boy," etc. Under these circumstances, my prediction would be that the nerdy kid would not only have his "s" removed from his body, but he would probably not even be alive anymore.
When I first heard rumors about a new Shellac album some months ago, it became important to me to try to predict what a new Shellac album might sound like. And of course the metaphorical construct outlined above was my model for making this prediction. As Shellac fans, we all already are familiar with the nerd/tough-ass dyad that exists in the band, and I think that most of us feel that the tension between these two reactive elements is what makes their music so fun to listen to. However, since the release of Terraform, the two camps within the non-mainstream pop world have shifted even further from their historical state (punk (tough) and new wave (sissy)) to a new, more ambiguous state (emo (sissy) and blandly pretty post rock (sissy)). I felt that whatever conflicts were already brewing within the band's collective personality would surely be precipitated by this state of affairs into an all out and decisive battle that would have one of two possible results. Most likely, the tough ass would utterly destroy the nerd, and 1000 Hurts would be the most pure rock and roll Shellac album ever, probably sacrificing the intellectual side of their music for animalistic brutality. This would be seen by the world at large as a rebellion against the prevalently wussy state of music today, even though it would be actually due, as mentioned, by the latent tension within the mind of Albini and the band as a group. The other, much less likely possibility was that the nerd would maybe win with a lucky sucker punch, and 1000 Hurts would be quieter and prettier, with more concessions to post-rock-ism even than Terraform. Maybe there would even be strings. This would be seen as a concession, although, as before, it would really just be shifting towards a side of the band that's probably always secretly been there.
Neither of these two things happened. 1000 Hurts is a departure from previous Shellac releases, but not in the way I expected. It is texturally similar to their other recordings, with the same dynamic balance between raw power and intellectual control. With apologies for doing so, I return to my somewhat silly conceit by telling you that the nerdy kid and the complete tough ass are still both as present as ever. The model is not completely faulty, however, I just failed to predict one possible outcome. It is my current belief that the complete tough ass reacted to the crowd of sensitive boys not with rage, but with reflection. "Yes," he said, "maybe you are right. Maybe I should be more sensitive. Come, nerdy side of me, let us work together to create an emo album of sensitive love songs for everyone to enjoy." And that's exactly what they did.
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The heaviest item in your cart is currently the CD of With Love by Zomby. Therefore, the shipping costs for 1000 Hurts by Shellac are as follows:
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So, what do you think?