Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Monday, July 04, 2005

‘1000 Hurts’

"Fucking kill him, fucking kill him, kill him already, kill him". It’s not quite as catchy as Daphne & Celeste's 'Ugly', but if he has any taste, your milkman will be singing ‘Prayer To God’ while doing his rounds next week. For now though, all you need to know is that Shellac are back and Steve Albini's not a happy bunny. It's been said that this is an emotional record, but there are only negative emotions on display here. '1000 Hurts' is loaded with such vitriolic anger and disgust that it's the most brutal album that you’ll have the pleasure of hearing all year.

By the time 'Canaveral' finds Albini questioning the cause of his torment ("what do you think would make him stick his cock in my wife?") with despair in his briefly fragile delivery, '1000 Hurts' has already ousted Marvin Gaye's 'Here My Dear' as the ultimate account of adultery and retributive violence wished upon its' protagonists.

But it's not just the lyrics that force their way inside your consciousness, as ever the rhythm section of Weston and Trainer hacks into you like a blunt knife, as if they're driven by some insatiable hunger. Fortunately, where previous excess allowed 1997's 'Terraform' to lose its focus, the intensity rarely lets up here. Once the opening shard-like chords of 'Prayer To God' kick in there’s no relief from the trauma of '1000 Hurts' until long after the album screams to a close with the serrated rhythms of 'Watch Song', in which Albini makes the polite suggestion that his rival may wish to meet him outside.

If Albini really is out for revenge, then Courtney Love should start looking over her shoulder, and friends of Urge Overkill may want to check that Nash Kato hasn’t already topped himself. The rest of us, meanwhile, can sit back and relax, because hostility and vengeance fit Shellac like a glove; a glove fitted with barbed-wire knuckle-dusters.