1991 : SHACK, (NME, 1 JUNE 1991)

A laddish-looking, chirpy Liverpool band paying homage to their sixties heroes with well-crafted, guitar laden pop. Hardly a shocking proposition is it?

Shack, however, manage to avoid accusations of dragging on the coat-tails of their more successsful scouse brethren by delivering music that’s a tad more intricate than most of the stuff currentlycoming out of the ‘Pool. Tunes like Sgt Major and Stranger bring to mind no one so much as the Kinks: they’re whimsical, acoustic-driven vignettes, full of wordy, self-deprecating humour and peculiarly English references.

But Shack aren’t bookish intellectuals. I Know You Well is a simple, almost banal beast that plunders Revolver period Beatles and ends up sounding brilliantly radio-friendly. Up, meanwhile, is the band’s closing masterstroke, a drawn-out piece that succeeds in sounding like Herman’s Hermits playing Sister Ray. It’s loud and pretty grungy, but Shack’s melodic prowess drags it back to popsville with a vengeance.

The crowd seem a little confused.


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Zilch (1988)
1. Emergency (listen)
2. Someone’s Knocking (listen)
3. John Kline (listen)
4. I Need You (listen)
5. Realization (listen)
6. High Rise Low Life (listen)
7. Who Killed Clayton Square? (listen)
8. Who’d Believe It? (listen)
9. What’s It Like… (listen)
10. The Believers (listen)