The Shackeltons – Album Review
“Often it takes something tragic happening for something beautiful to be born…”
It’s been nearly six years since Mark Redding, vocalist and primary song writer for The Shackeltons first learned of his mother’s terminal cancer diagnosis and took a hiatus from music. Fans have been patiently waiting and are finally about to get what they have longed for, a new Shackeltons album. Those fans will be more than pleased with the new album, Records.
Six years seems too long a time to go without releasing any music but Records seems to boast six years’ worth of experience. Fans from years back will hear a metamorphosis in the new album. Redding experienced a lot in his six-year sabbatical and it really shows. Often it takes something tragic happening for something beautiful to be born. All the songs on Records are a testament to this but no song better exemplifies what I mean than the fourth song on the album, “Mum.”
The beauty and the shame in the new album is that many of the songs delve into emotions that the average listener may be able to sympathize with but not necessarily empathize. From the lyrics to the instrumentals, every song on the album is packed full of raw emotion. Many of those listeners who cannot empathize with the songs can almost take on the emotions behind the songs through Redding’s honesty in each and every offering. However, it’s no secret that The Shackeltons are somewhat experimental and their new album is no exception. That being said, there will be listeners who simply don’t take the time to understand Records for the beauty that it truly is, but who wants listeners like that anyway?
With the progression of the band comes even more experimental sounds. There’s plenty of dissonance on Records and the beautiful production quality sounds artfully dirty. The shallow listener who didn’t “get” The Shackeltons last album, will “get” this album even less. The fact is that great music has never been understood by everyone; and music understood by everyone has never been great. I would compare the sound on Records to a melting pot of sounds from Iggy Pop to Brand New’s Daisy album. Similar to The Shackeltons, not everyone understood Iggy Pop nor Brand New but perhaps that’s why they’re still getting mentioned today on rock blogs.
Similar to Brand New’s Daisy album, Records gets better and better every time you listen to it. You will hear or appreciate something new about it every time you give it a listen. It’s infinite like a piece of abstract art, you could take it in a thousand times and get something new out of it every time. A record with replay value is worth ten times more than a record good for a few spins and Records is proof of that.
The Shackeltons newest album isn’t for everyone but it’s for everyone else. By that I mean that the Katy Perry and Maroon Five fans of the world might not appreciate Records but hardcore indie rock fans will recognize the album for the rare gem it truly is. The bottom line is if you are a previous fan of The Shackeltons, you will be thrilled and if you’re a new listener looking for a deep record to sink your ears into, look no farther than Records.