The Money Shot (1996)
Tonight begins a series of six Shellac shows in four days at the Hideout here in Chicago. I'm going to try and catch as many as I can, but right now it's looking like only half of the six. Tonight's show, I've just found out, also happens to feature Mike Lust's Tight Phantomz as an opening act , which naturally has me harkening back to this elegantly scratchy EP from 1996.
Firstly, I have to admit that the Phantomz aren't really my thing. I have the one CD, and it kind of bitez. That being said, frontman Lust still puts on one hell of a live show. It's always plenty full of high leg kicks, jumps, flips, and sometimes that really cool swinging-the-guitar-around-the-waist thing. This standard was set way back in the day when he lead the Chicago three-piece Lustre King, in fact, any time you mention Lustre King to anyone here in the city, it is those antics that they recall first. They'll remember some crazy stunt one of them pulled or how smashed the bassist was one night. And it's all really a shame because beneath the ultra-scratchy guitar tone, and some street-tough shit-talking tin-can vocals, the band played some secretly intelligent music that normally tends to fall by the wayside when the band is discussed.
Listen to the details of this record. Don't let it fool you. It runs past you in just thirteen and a half minutes, so you'll probably have to flip it over and play it again. It's five tracks have a tendency to shift gears mid-way through and become something else. While the guitar is alternating between math-drenched riffage and some really raunchy spats of noise-making, the bass and drums are pulling off some pretty fancy rhythms, some that sputter and some that glide.
Epitonic has two tracks for download, 'Just Hit Town' and 'Gigolo Swing'.
Here is a fansite that has on it some of 1999's Shoot the Messenger, which might interest you, too. Look for the record or CD at Amazon or Music Stack, because I'm pretty sure it's OOP. Or just ask me and I'll upload it.