Amalgamating vintage sounds with a contemporary slant, not unlike Cate Le Bon, Laurie Shaw’s music emanates the gentle ebb and flow of soft vocals and warm fuzz. The 30 tracks on this double album are certain to make their impression on you, like crashing waves carve out the rocks of the shaw. One can’t help but feel this album’s richness and authenticity from the outset.
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It’s the last garage rock record I’ll hear this year and hopefully ever, and it’s by a man with a name like that of my colleague and friend Laurie. It’s on surname they diverge, such as his is Shaw, but he might as well be Laurie Segall, a lo-fi scuzz prankster who woops and riffs his way through spirited, quickass songs with a wonky precision.
He intones his lyrical venom like a mix of Nick Cave and the someone out of an ill-fated indie rock band that tried to rip the Arctic Monkeys in the oughties, occasionally distorting his snarls and stream-of-consciousness treatises. Below him is a flurry of suspended-motion riffs and sharp keys, his songs sounding refreshingly barebones whether they’re bedroom solo ventures or big fuckin’ rock songs. Most important to enjoying the economy of this pop record is just knowing that it’s a big fucking joke, when all is said and done: “She’s a Lady” is a cover of “She’s a Lady”, for instance. It’s a thing that happens.
While this record will easily appeal to lovers of Segall fuzz bands, Thee Oh Sees and Tony Molina, its anthology-like compiling of many different weirdo pop ventures will likely quench the thirst of many a Guided by Voices fan too. It helps that Shaw often gets bored of his own song halfway through playing you it, as on the slightly and occasionally mutating “Tropical Wizard”. Good fun.
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