The Rude Gesture: A Pictorial History

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Shellac's debut single offers three mid-tempo songs, leading off with the menacing "The Guy Who Invented Fire," featuring a riff admittedly lifted from Zeni Geva. "Rambler Song" rumbles, riddled with Steve Albini's guitar squeaks that seem to be punctuated with a sound akin to someone blowing forcefully into a recorder. No longer breaking into the roles of characters like child molesters or famous dictators, Albini breaks into auto enthusiast mode: "I've got a Rambler in my yard/She's a winner, despite her age.../You wanna ride with a winner?" Todd Trainer's fills are the highlight of "Billiard Player Song," another forceful gem of economic abrasion. Nice fold-out sleeve presented here, with a questionable brown smear over the Shellac logo (allegedly root beer). Friends helping the band with the assembly and "smear" on the single have taken artistic license on some copies, including some rather rude gestures.

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