Tag Archives: post hardcore

Of North America

I’ve spent a chunk of time in 2017 considering the compatibility of my centrist politics with the music I love. I’ve spent the best part of seven years waiting to see Shellac in concert. What could go wrong?

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Hey man! I wanna have a fight with you!

Steve Albini’s Shellac exists as an economical vehicle for his misanthropic persona. And their compositions don’t get more transparent than “Watch Song”, which appeared on the album 1000 Hurts, released in 2000.

“From the way that you behave,
It is clear, to me,
You would like to have one too!”

The song’s narrator has bought a digital watch and, such is his aggravation at its persistent beeping, he wishes to extract vengeance on either the device itself, or the man who sold it to him. Sounds like a good reason for a fight, especially against the backdrop of Shellac’s caustic, ricocheting post-hardcore. The snare cracks during the verses sound almost combustible, and the unresolved, atonal chords which pierce through the gaps between Albini’s phrasing either signal the impending fireworks, or serve as a sonic nod to the “POW!” and “ZOK!” of the Batman television series in the 1960s.