Shellshag are wonderful. They’re a husband-and-wife duo. Shag stands up when she plays the drums. She has bells strapped on her legs and dances as she drums. Shell plays his guitar directly facing Shag. It’s endearing to see and hear that their music is primarily created for one another. Beyond casual listening, it’s almost impossible to not hear the love they have for one another ringing out from the grooves in the songs. Rumors in Disguise is their most cohesive LP to date—which is astonishing because this album is a collection of songs they’ve been working on for over a decade (only the first song, “1984” was recently written). The sonic stakes in the ground are far-flung and may not sound like they map out a sound musical foundation that will hold considerable weight, but they do. The architectural spaciousness from the best of the Pixies. The playful scampering, pranking, and challenges of Hickey. Feedback laced into pop hooks and the “it’s so simple yet so catchy”-ness of Masters Of The Obvious. Rumors in Disguise sounds a batch of love songs, both to one another, and to the creation of this music itself. DIY punks’ own version of Sonny And Cher (the happy years)?
–todd (Don Giovanni)