Steve Albini’s band, Shellac releases new record

Dude Incredible (2014) is the fifth studio album by Chicago-based post-hardcore rock band Shellac. Although it had been seven years since the band’s last album Excellent Italian Greyhound (2007), on July 1st of 2014, the band announced that it had a new album in the works. The band’s latest album Dude Incredible gives off the classic Shellac vibe that no other artist truly replicates; their sound can be described as somewhat of a combination of Nirvana and ACDC.

Like all of Shellac’s previous albums, most of the songs on Dude Incredible are satirical or downright ridiculous. Tracks like “Gary” and “All Those Surveyors” were hilarious with their outlandish themes and subject matter. Though the songs were interesting, their instrumentals were not any different than those on previous albums. Though the bass had a different sound to it, the drums played simple beats over and over, and the guitar of lead guitarist Steve Albini had its trademark distorted twang.

The album semi-follows a storyline throughout the songs. The opening track “Dude Incredible” starts the album off with talk of an adventure. Throughout album, the tale evolves and changes in a rather obscure way as the adventure’s antagonist changes from song to song.

Shellac has a different sound for each album in its discography. Dude Incredible heavily lacks the uniqueness usually displayed by Shellac. Another let down about this album is the lack of emotionally driven songs. For example, debatably Shellac’s best album, 1000 Hurts (2000), starts off with an emotionally driven song called “Prayer to God” and then follows up with an instrumental. Dude Incredible does not particularly add anything new to Shellac’s resume, other than its humor and typical “verse-chorus-verse” structure. That is not to say the album was not good; simply, it was nothing Shellac fans have not heard before. Over all, Dude Incredible was a good listen and fans of artists such as Nirvana, Shellac, Big Black and The Jesus Lizard will all appreciate it.