Search - Shellac :: Terraform

Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

From the way people talk, you'd think Steve Albini was an extraterrestrial dropped in our midst or an unpredictable chemical agent introduced into an experiment that has grown depressingly stable. Terraform, the latest rec...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Shellac
Title: Terraform
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Touch & Go Records
Original Release Date: 5/19/1998
Release Date: 5/19/1998
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Indie & Lo-Fi, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 003617209002

From the way people talk, you'd think Steve Albini was an extraterrestrial dropped in our midst or an unpredictable chemical agent introduced into an experiment that has grown depressingly stable. Terraform, the latest record from Shellac, takes this notion and blasts off, adding new, albeit alien, growth to a sterile environment (rock music). The seemingly endless first song, "Didn't We Deserve a Look at You the Way You Really Are," features a numbingly repetitive bass and drums figure with a few fluctuations. After a while (don't ask me how long; time doesn't exist here) Albini's guitar makes tentative scratches, like a timid cat wanting to be let in, before the inevitable eruption. Then the whole process begins again. Futuristic? Or maybe just a bizarro world version of "Stranglehold"? Other pieces conceal (in plain sight) references to Iggy, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and The Yardbirds. It's classic rock, all right. But not as we know it. --John Chandler

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CD Reviews

Didn't we deserve such an album?
manos77 | Athens, Greece | 03/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I first heard Albini's newest band live at Greece (Southern Europe, not NY) when this album was their latest work, and there were about 400 people in that little An Club. "Hey Steve, have you guys brought any CDs of the band with you that people here can buy?" was asked by the lead singer of the support band that night ("Bokomolech"-a local band). "No, we haven't", Steve plainly replied. Well, either he's not much of a buziness genious, or he just doesn't care (I 'll go for the latter).I remember them playing the first song of this album. It went on and on. Haunting; neverending. The bass player had his eyes closed, and just played, played, played... Steve was looking at times into the empty space somewhere on the wall at the other end of the club; and at times at the puzzled crowd. Yeah, they 're here to listen to you, Steve, but how many understand what's going on here? How many would write a song like DWDALAYTWYRA if they had a band?So, you think this song lasts too long? No, not long enough. I 'm not being sarcastic. I wish it went on for hours. I usually use the "repeat" button when I listen to it. This is the kind of music I 've been looking for, even without knowing.I think that "Copper" and "Canada" are the next best moments here. Both for music and lyrics. "Copper" is sth like a pop(!)-punk song, short but exciting. "Copper, let us take you, to a furnace where we 'll break you". "Canada" actually has sth-close-to-a-solo in it, which is the best part of the song."House full of Garbage" also features a minimalistic going-on-and-on bassline, but it's not as good as the opening track (not as long, either). It's quite interesting, though, and it's quite close to the days of Big Black's "Songs About F......".A lot(?!) of people also seem to like "This is a picture". Yes, the lyrics are beautiful, but the guitar doesn't quite cut the mustard for me.In my opinion, these are the most interesting moments of this album. I 'm not rating it 5 stars, just because there are some songs in it I could live without. But most of the songs I mentioned are certainly 5-star songs. If you like bands like Fugazi or, especially, The Jesus Lizard, Shellac are for you. Even if "copper will never be gold".Let me add that there's one more similarity between Shellac and Jesus Lizard. Their albums don't just feel like just-another-bunch-of-good-songs. While listening to them, I feel that there's nothing more important in the world than these songs. "We 're not talking about escaping life, here. We 're talking about life itself"."
Shellac beats your ears senseless, but you know you want it.
mark twat | United States | 04/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There's something about Shellac that makes you feel whichever of their three lp's you are listening too is the best thing next to crack rocks and puppy dogs. Therefore, it's hard to accurately say which Shellac album is my favorite. However, the one i've listened to the most and for the longest time would be Terraform. There's something about that first song that just weeds out all the pop fans, leaving just us noise addicts in their wake. From there, the album branches into all sorts of distorted disjointed guitar slabs, bass lines that push you up to the edge, and drums that pummel you but leave you begging for one more crash cymbal. Pick this baby up, then get Action Park, then 1000 Hurts, and all on vinyl, because it's Steve's music, what he says goes..."
My personal favorite
godskidbrother | Pittsburgh, PA | 08/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"this one wasn't received too well initially, following up powerhouse "at action park." also, the droning, 15 minute opener didn't help. after that, however, "terraform" absolutely smokes. the ending of "mouthpiece," w/ todd trainer screaming like a banshee while invoking the spirit of john bonham gives me chills. also, you know how sometimes you find beauty in the most unlikely of places, like amid the vulgarity of a charles bukowski novel? there's a line in "this is a picture" that's delivered during a break from the drums, where it's just albini strumming two chords over and over: "there are angels there/ you know where they keep angels/ heaven, that's where." i don't know, something about that verse strikes me as incredibly poignant, especially when so much of the lyrical content focuses on the negative. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, "terraform" closes w/ shellacs' catchiest song before or since, "copper," which reminds me a lot of the final song in the big black catalog, "he's a whore." this is a largely overlooked record that deserves more praise than it has gotten so far."