Review : Shrag - Canines
NmeBucking the trend of many a fast-imploding lo-fi press darling, Shrag come out with fists swinging on their third LP. There’s some palpable songwriting muscle on show right from the off, with opener ‘Tears Of A Landlord’ delivering an unsettling, gothic footstomp underneath its disquieting refrain of “I think about death when you genuflect”. Beyond the album’s halfway mark, the one-two punch of ‘You’re The Shout’ and ‘That’s Static!’ have such direct, insistent hooks they could be mistaken for ’90s indie darlings Lush at their most buoyant. One thing’s for sure: Shrag may smile sweetly, but on ‘Canines’ they take no small pleasure in bearing their collective teeth....full text
BbcBrighton/London five-piece Shrag have always possessed a darker edge than their indiepop/twee label suggested. As the title indicates, third album Canines sees them baring their teeth to produce a set that blends sweetness with something more menacing.
It would be easy to let the sheer joyous racket that the band creates fool you. Shouty sloganeering on Show Us Your Canines, Chasing Consummations and Devastating Bones, and the boy/girl sing-along vocals, create an initial impression of cheerful, lively naivety. Dig a little deeper, though, and a more serious, sometimes troubling, side comes through.
Often carried on a wave of aggression from post-punk guitars or with ominous basslines, there is a focus on the visceral – Devastating Bones’ protagonist posing “on your rib cage”, the prospect of the titular Jane With Dumbbells ripping out her teeth – and the carnal (Show Us Your Canines, Chasing Consummations)....full text
MusicomhWhen Shrag played at the Scala as part of Fortuna Pop!'s 15th anniversary celebrations back in November 2011, it was easy to forget that they weren't already a part of the label's close knit family comprising some of the UK's best indiepop bands.
Since they formed eight years ago, Shrag have felt like the band Fortuna POP! was missing, and certainly they're regarded alongside the label's most popular signings - the likes of Allo Darlin', Evans The Death, The Wave Pictures and The Crystal Stilts. That night they paid tribute to Fortuna POP! and confirmed that this, their third album, was to be released by them. So they've finally hooked up; a band and label that have always felt made for each other... and they're living happily ever after because Canines is the best thing that Shrag have made.
And they've made lots of things; as well as their two previous LPs, there have been dozens of EPs and 7 inches - they've been the epitome of the DIY band, sticking to indie labels and doing things their own way, which is why Canines might surprise some people....full text
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