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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

Untitled (CD-R Demo)

The immeasurable world of strange coincidences never ceases to amaze the Shmat. So it was with some trepidation that he popped in this CD-R demo by Shalloboi expecting green aliens to come sprawling out of the back of his PC issuing grave proclamations of impending, Nostradamus - like doom. The coinkidink in question is him getting another package in the mail just last week by an unsigned artist named Shellboy. Shalloboi and Shellboy... come on now. How can that not tweak your funny whiskers?

However, the two could not be stylistically further from each other. Whereas Shellboy takes his cue from lo-fi Casio keyboards, Shalloboi is going for the world's record in reverb drenched sound. Think heavier and even more spacey than the typical 4AD sound. At times it can be almost too cavernous, and perhaps a bit long. (Did the Shmat mention that the 6 songs last more than 40 minutes, compared to Shellboy's 5 songs which clocked in at 6 minutes TOTAL) As individual songs they don't present themselves as something that can be easily digested. However, taken collectively as music experience, you can put this demo on and veg out on the sofa with a good book.

"Invisible Against The Sun" starts off with samples which feel like the nervous tickling of insects being summarily landed upon by a gigantic droning flying saucer. Well actually, that's a good reference point : there is some similarity to the experimental band Flying Saucer Attack. There is also a definite dose of Sigur Ros in here, but the material is different enough to squash any cries of copyshmat. The meditative, 12 minute "Blue Eyed" is chock full of cantankerous ambient grumblings with tidbits of TV talk noise sprinkled in for good measure. "Colour Blind" partially reminded the Shmat of a Sonic Youth snippet wherein Thurston Moore speaks over some megaphone or PA system alongside some airplane feedback noise with a quiet piano in the background . He can't quite remember which song this is and it's bugging the crap out of him.

In any case, this is pretty good soundtrack to have on while you're doing work around the house. Hmm... the Shmat will be extremely interested to see if there are any further bands out there that rhyme with "Shalloboi" or "Shellboy" who decide to send him demos ...

- review by SHMAT (4.21.03)        

Tyler Ritter
630 NE 23rd Ave #43
Portland, OR 97232

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