Brighton's boy-girl scuzzpoppers Shrag flash back to the heyday of such personages as Prolapse or Delta 5, bringing analytical attitude to the debased trade of pop and serving it up with bulldozing portions of raw guitar noise. Uncut
Shrag will be releasing their hotly anticipated third album Canines via WIAIWYA and Fortuna POP! in July. Recorded at Gargleblast Studios with producer Andy Miller (Life Without Buildings, Mogwai, Sons and Daughters), Canines is a visceral pop record bristling with urgency, melody, and danger, and is the sound of a band fully in their stride.
Canines is a fiercely idiosyncratic record which stalks new territory for Shrag; in its counter-intuitive journey from the feedback-drenched fury of album opener 'Tears of a Landlord' to the bittersweet lushness of closing paean 'Jane with Dumbbells', Canines interrogates structures, of the body, the mind, and the city. Suffused with bones, skin, and inappropriate desires, the album's first single 'Tendons in the Night' is a voyeuristic ode to the estimable pursuit of gymnastic perfection, whilst the second, 'Show us your Canines', is a blood-heavy exhortation against martyrdom and for movement, distilling the urgency and compulsion which lends the tone to the record as a whole.
The glam-rock nonchalance of sun-soaked stomper 'Devastating Bones' gives way to the claustrophobia and menace of the family curse threading its way through 'That's Static!', and the heady impulsivity and rush of 'On the Spines of Old Cathedrals' and 'You're the Shout' are offset against the elegant defiance of 'Chasing Consummations' and 'Flinching at Forever', where the band insist on a potent celebration of their own sense of awkwardness and fear. Canines follows up 2009's self-titled debut album, and 2010's Life! Death! Prizes!, both of which were mixed by legendary producer (and Morrissey drummer) Woodie Taylor, fresh from his success with Love Is All and Veronica Falls.
Shrag's first album was met with critical acclaim from, amongst others, Uncut, Pitchfork, the Sunday Times, and Artrocker. Life! Death! Prizes! was equally as acclaimed as its predecessor, garnering wide-spread praise from many including Pitchfork (again), Drowned in Sound, The Quietus, and All Music Guide, who praised "... the kind of songs you want to hear playing loud all day and then quietly at night, a thrillingly romantic, bleedingly emotional album for people who want some bite in their pop.
1. Tears Of A Landlord
2. Show Us Your Canines
3. Chasing Consummations
4. Tendons in the Night
5. On the Spines of Old Cathedrals
6. Devastating Bones
7. You're the Shout
8. That's Static
9. No More Memories
10. Flinching at Forever
11. Jane with Dumbbells