Exposé Online banner

Shrimp Boat — Speckly
(AUM Fidelity AUM033, 1989/2005, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01

Speckly Cover artChicago’s Shrimp Boat exemplified a regional lo-fi approach which was championed by late 80s bands such as Camper Van Beethoven, REM and the Replacements. Where many alternative rock acts appeared on the surface to be light on technical proficiency they made up for it admirably in a friendly hodgepodge of ideas that varied basic song structures informed by an amused slacker demeanor. This is the first time the band’s first LP has been reissued on CD as part of Steven Jeorge’s archival series (which also resulted in the fine 4 CD boxed set Something Grand). Oddly enough the initial band line-up also included the band’s engineer as full member probably due to the basic live mix which captured them in a starkly honest light. Tracks such as “Seven Crows” corner much of the same type of zany fun CVB exuded on classic pieces such as “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” while others like “Melon Song” predate the minimalist Seattle grunge sound in a jangly fashion (with some choice backwards guitar loops in the backing track). Other more goofy songs such as “Lemmings Leap” veer toward similar instrumental ventures to Fred Frith’s pop exercises of the time. The quintet could serve up a slightly twisted folk ballad (“An Orchid is not a Rose”) or a country swing attempt (“Hyatt Ridge Circle Dance”) giving each equal priority and whimsy. Overall the band obviously had fun making the disc in the studio and it should be apparent to the indie crowd who flock to recordings such as this.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 33, 2005 releases, 1989 recordings

Related artist(s): Shrimp Boat

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Thork - We-ila – The French seem to have a lock on dark symphonic prog these days (see Nil elsewhere this issue) – or maybe it’s just those two guys named Maurin (David on guitar and Samuel on bass and...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues