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The Shell Collector - Medusa Award winner

The Shell Collector
Medusa
by Dorin Mandelbaum at 05 May 2014, 12:07 AM

On May 26th THE SHELL COLLECTOR will debut their first album, after already releasing 2 EPs: one mini EP called “Rain Songs” on December 23rd 2013 and before that the EP “#2 Is the Beginning of an Army” on September 1st 2013. Hopefully the end of May 2014 will be the big breakthrough for THE SHELL COLLECTOR with their debut “Medusa”, what a spectacular album. One that left a very deep first impression on me, which rarely ever happens after just one listen, I felt the urge to listen to the album many more times before writing this review. This small Italian band sounds fresh in the here and now, their sound is all that music aspires to be: An honorable glimpse back to the past, while mostly heading towards the future with experimental sound and structures.

With a wonderful grunge-esq sounding Chris Cornellian lead singer (Enrico Tiberi) their album “Medusa” starts with a bang with the first track “The Mean”, unignorable powerful guitar riffs draws your attention and swoop you into THE SHELL COLLECTOR’s world, a much darker world than ours, the apocalyptic theme appears through the album and ‘The End’ is mentioned and dealt with in many ways, one example of an “end” is in the third track “A Sailor” facing the end of a relationship because a girl can’t stand being alone when the sailor leaves for sea.

In most part of the album, figuring out the lyrics just by listening is difficult, sometimes impossible. Not that in any way that makes the album worse. I couldn’t understand a word of what THOM YORKE was singing in any of RADIOHEAD’s albums without reading the booklets and it’s still one of my favourite bands of all time - lyrics included. That is why I wish I could get the lyrics with “Medusa” for this review, acknowledging I’m probably missing out a lot of wonderful lyrics because they’re not clear. They did release one lyric video of the 5th track from the album “The Filter” through BlankTV’s YouTube channel, that gave me a small peek into how good the lyrics on this album probably are, you can check out the video below.

A few songs incorporate electronic elements i.e track 2 “Amber” track 4 “Take Your Time” track 8 “Common Superstar System”. Those enrich the sound of the album (that is mostly grungy) and keep it updated. The songs are very ‘Prog’ in the sense that they go where ever they *need* to go and not fall into the clichés of given song structures most bands use: verse - chorus - c part. This gives the album a natural flow and a sense of a cinematic experience of what I envisioned as a futuristic film retrospection the past, present and future.

THE SHELL COLLECTOR’s sound reminds me of bands like AUDIOSLAVE, the newer RADIOHEAD albums (“Kid A” and beyond), MUSE, and even the complexity of THE MARS VOLTA with their intricate woven textures within songs. This album comes quite close to being a masterpiece, I highly recommend listening to it continuously, I know I will.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Mean
2. Amber
3. A Sailor
4. Take Your Time
5. The Filter
6. Le Ombre
7. Still Winds They Blow
8. Common Superstar System
9. Mirror Me
10. My Old Titanic Panasonic Tapedeck
11. What It Is
Lineup:
Enrico Tiberi – Vocals / Guitars / Bass / Cuatro / Piano / Keyboards / Noise
Alessandro Vagnoni – Drums / Pure (En)harmonizations
Manuel Coccia – Bass / Vocoder / Symphonic Choirs
Alessandro Infusini – Guitar
Record Label: Tuna Records
     


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