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

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Kantata - Samsara – For background information, go dig up a copy of Expose #14, and find the review where I spent half a page trying to describe a CD by Iwan Fals. Here, the XTC/Sting/Cat Stevens-influenced...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues