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More likely to play Reykjavik than Detroit, and more likely to release songs on flexi-discs in Dutch comic books than provide MP3s on their website, Shellac (or Shellac of North America) will always be known for doing it their way. Being able to operate completely outside the typical machinations of music - independent or otherwise, their press sheets typically exclaimed "no free lunch," referring to promo copies - the trio carved out a sizable niche in the sewage-infested gutters of underground rock & roll. Started in an informal setting between infamous engineer and guitarist Steve Albini (ex-Just Ducky, Big Black, Rapeman) and drummer Todd Trainer (ex-Rifle Sport, Brick Layer Cake) in 1992, Shellac came into full formation after Albini invited bassist Bob Weston (ex-Sorry, Volcano Suns) to move to Chicago and employed him as an engineer at his studio.
Always featuring a raw sound, the band's recordings rarely (if ever) employed overdubs. Economy and precision were always at the top of the priority list. The trio's first LP, "At Action Park", appeared in late 1994. Four years passed until their proper follow-up, "Terraform", which was recorded much earlier than its release date but was delayed due to artwork clearance. Recorded on various dates in 1998 and 1999, their third full-length, 1000 Hurts, was released in the late summer of 2000.
Shellac toured at a sporadic pace, usually in geographic locations they wanted to visit, and frequently played in unconventional confines such as riverboats. Between-song banter was more likely to consist of question-and-answer sessions with the crowd than proclamations of how much the band liked the city they were in. Sharing a skewed sense of humor that is fully apparent in their recordings and excellent packaging, it was possible that a concertgoer could walk away from a Shellac show with anything ranging from an autographed baseball to visions of Weston in a bunny outfit...