TITLE: At Action Park
YEAR RELEASED: 1994
CHART ACTION: None
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Only fans of Steve Albini
LINEUP: Steve Albini, Robert Weston, Todd Trainer
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After some great vinyl singles, Steve Albini’s newest project releases its full album to the world, and it’s as uncompromising as ever.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: If you know the guitar sound of Steve Albini, the first notes of “My Black Ass” unmistakably signals that this is a Steve Albini project, and he’s not changing his sound.
Neither did he change his modus operandi. Weston, the bassist, is well versed in production, and has served as Albini’s assistant at his studio. Trainer’s method of drumming is ‘pound first, ask questions later’ The lyrics and song subjects are classic Albini as well, as he continues the explorations he started in Big Black and Rapeman.
Yet, Shellac IS different than those other bands. The recording here is warm and uncompromising. Everything hits you in the head, from Albini’s guitar skeen to Trainer’s pounding. The sound and the songs make this one of the better albums in Albini’s catalog.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The credits are interesting. Albini is credited with “velocity”. Weston “mass” and Trainer “time”. Studio owners John Loder (“driver”) and Iain Burgess (“chef”) are credited, along with engineer Peter Diemel (“coffee”) and label owner Corey Rusk (“pyrotechnics”)
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. We’re lucky Albini is allowing streaming. The Shellac singles aren’t around except on vinyl.
GRADE: A-: Albini’s not for everyone, and won’t compromise, but this album and approach may win Shellac more fans than usual.