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Shadow in the Cracks - s/t lp (Goner)


OUT OF STOCK 12/1/2018


First one hundred shipped with free poster!



Shadow In The Cracks is Jim and Mike Blaha, who you
might (or should) recognize as leading Minneapolis trio The
Blind Shake with their full frontal assault of baritone guitar,
guitar and vocals, while co-founding friend Dave Roper beats a
backbone into everything so solid and huge it seems each song
will outlive the human race and stand amongst the overgrown,
vermin-ruled urban wastelands left behind. From September
2014 to May of 2015, the Minneapolis trio released two proper
full-length albums (the excellent and crushing Breakfast of
Failures on Goner Records and Fly Right on Slovenly Records,
each respectively bookending the timeframe in question), a
VHS release of the 2011 film Hey Hey What with the band in its
longtime side-role backing bent-rock legend Michael Yonkers,
and Modern Surf Classics-a truth-in-titling collaboration with
Swami John Reis (he of Rocket From The Crypt/Drive Like
Jehu/Hot Snakes and of course, Swami Records) released in
January 2015. And all of this was supported by The Blind Shake’s earnest and unforgettable live showmanship to the tune of 29 dates across the U.S. and Canada followed by an 11-date April/May tour of Europe.

Therefore regarding some slivers of downtime that
punctuated summer 2015, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for one
to assume the sibling faction (that’s Jim and Mike Blaha for
those with very serious attention deficit issues) of the trio
might choose an activity other than sitting across from one
another in a room to write and record the nine-songs that make
up the self-titled Shadow In The Cracks debut full-length. Credit
a drum kit that wasn’t fully set up for the spark that lit a burn
completely different from anything in The Blind Shake’s
rapidly-growing, stylistic sweep of a discography, especially the
recent fortifying of an infectious though not-to-be-fucked-with-
heavy read on noise-rock somewhat informed by the band’s
own approach to garage-punk.

From this Shadow In The Cracks provides an urban-psych
comedown, detouring around relaxation and instead defined by
the tension of navigating the small hours of the night staring at
nothing until the birds outside sound the alarm of silent panic.
The album conjures a thickened Spacemen 3 or a far more
menacing circa-90s Brian Jonestown Massacre minus the silly-
ass rhetoric, and there’s more than a touch of the World Beat
(Your Ass) sound of (cohesive) Sun City Girls. The Blaha’s
customary baritone guitar + guitar setup is parlayed into long
and abrasive sheets with economic Eastern-tinged leads
snaking around on top. The driving rhythmic repetition of
single kick-drum hits accented with Indian bells is the classic
bare essence of psych and Krautrock minimalism. The singing
invokes the flavors of despair behind the album’s themes of
end-times inevitability and more personal strains of front-page
bad news. Given the style stumbled upon here, brevity of song-
craft rules…three maybe four-minute tracks with the longest an
EPIC (relative to the creative forces behind it) six. Tastefully-
applied reverb dresses up an album where it makes sense.

Whatever the muse that influenced this drastic shift in
style and feel, it blindsided the Blaha brothers and refused to
stay in the room of its conception. Written in two months then
recorded live in two days, this exponentially more laid-back Jim
and Mike is nonetheless a vehicle for the depressive but moving
moods born of the same place that inspired the band’s excellent
moniker (plus song of the same name). As Jim so poignantly
puts it, “It’s a reference to the darker parts of the dark.”


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This product was added to our catalog on Friday 16 October, 2015.

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