Steve Albini is as legendary for his fiercely independent and uncompromising values as for his work as a producer and ex-frontman for such iconic underground rock bands as Big Black. Albini's integrity and dedication to raw, intense music remains intact with Shellac, his on-again/off-again project with bassist Bob Weston and drummer Todd Trainer. EXCELLENT ITALIAN GREYHOUND (2007), the band's fifth album and first since 2000's 1000 HURTS, is among the band's best work.
Although the disc stays true to Shellac's strident noise-rock ethos and hardcore-influenced thunder, there's a maturity here born of the musicians' distinguished resumes and their history with each other. The interplay and sense of exploration recalls a jazz ensemble at times, even when the commitment to sonic confrontation keeps the band firmly connected to Albini's punk and post-punk past. So while there's no shortage of gut-wrenching, brain-melting squall on EXCELLENT ITALIAN GREYHOUND, the intricacy and art with which it's applied represent a band at the top of their game.
Uncut (p.94) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] Bob Weston's driving bass and Todd Trainer's thrashing snare hits, coalescing with mechanical precision."
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