SHANKS, THE: Surfing the Lexicon: LP

Sometimes I think I listen to music wrong. Take this record, for example. When I listen to it, I hear absolutely perfect indie rock with a mid-’90s vibe. It sounds like music by guys who’ve listened to Bob Mould’s solo album guitar work (not just Hüsker Dü). It sounds like music by guys who understand what makes Guided By Voices tick. The first side ends with some slower stuff. “Miss Virginia” is the kind of patient, fuzzy tune that gives me the spine chills. None of the tunes move faster than a solid gallop. I wouldn’t describe any of this as snarling or metal. Yet the sticker on the cover of the record compares this band to the Dead Boys and (huh?) Big Business. Is someone really getting that vibe from this record? Maybe I’m wrong. Surely the record label knows what the band sounds like. Still, I like listening to this band my way better.

 –mp (Phratry)