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Shrag|Shrag

Shrag

Shrag

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The three gals and two guys of Brighton pop-punk outfit Shrag are agitated in an angsty Hello Kitty sort of way on their self-titled debut. Collecting assorted singles, B-sides, and some new songs, Shrag is a mixed bag with some rather obvious shortcomings. Right off the bat, the sequencing is odd, with subpar demo quality recordings alternating with fully produced tracks. The abrupt changes in recording quality make it hard to get into a listening groove. While this might be fine for an established act, it's probably not the best choice for a debut. Beyond the sequencing issue, there's a larger issue. None of the songs are that memorable. Frontwoman Stephanie Goodman's shouted vocals are largely unintelligible, and the rest of the band lacks the muscle to pull of the Fall/Elastica/Sleater-Kinney pastiche they're attempting. "Forty-Five 45s" is the lone standout, a pretty almost-ballad heavily indebted to the drone of early Stereolab. "Talk to the Left," a mildly entertaining plea for a boyfriend to keep his mouth closed during horizontal dancing, is funny enough but ultimately feels like a Peaches throwaway. "Pregnancy Scene," the group's attempt at a political statement about teen pregnancy, stands out for perhaps the wrong reasons; it's a little bit catchy but the Sex Pistols sneer and Goblin keyboards are an odd mix, and the message about waiting until adulthood to give birth is overly obvious and a subject that seems more suited for sadness than punk anger. It takes more than quickly strummed guitars and shouted vocals to cause a ruckus and inspire youth rebellion. Sadly, Shrag never gets off the ground, and the band comes off more like disposable acts like Kenickie or Sleeper than their loftier heroes.

© Tim DiGravina /TiVo

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Shrag

Shrag

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1
Pregnancy Scene
00:04:02

Shrag, MainArtist

2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are 2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are

2
Long Term Monster
00:02:49

Shrag, MainArtist

2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are 2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are

3
Lost Dog
00:02:36

Shrag, MainArtist

2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are 2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are

4
Talk to the Left
00:02:55

Shrag, MainArtist

2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are 2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are

5
Different Glue
00:02:40

Shrag, MainArtist

2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are 2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are

6
Forty Five 45's
00:03:08

Shrag, MainArtist

2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are 2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are

7
New Favourites
00:03:04

Shrag, MainArtist

2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are 2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are

8
Intelligent Theft
00:02:35

Shrag, MainArtist

2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are 2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are

9
Cupboard Love
00:03:40

Shrag, MainArtist

2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are 2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are

10
Intro
00:04:13

Shrag, MainArtist

2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are 2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are

11
Mark E Smith
00:02:56

Shrag, MainArtist

2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are 2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are

12
Hopelessly Wasted
00:03:51

Shrag, MainArtist

2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are 2009 Where It's At Is Where You Are

Resenha do Álbum

The three gals and two guys of Brighton pop-punk outfit Shrag are agitated in an angsty Hello Kitty sort of way on their self-titled debut. Collecting assorted singles, B-sides, and some new songs, Shrag is a mixed bag with some rather obvious shortcomings. Right off the bat, the sequencing is odd, with subpar demo quality recordings alternating with fully produced tracks. The abrupt changes in recording quality make it hard to get into a listening groove. While this might be fine for an established act, it's probably not the best choice for a debut. Beyond the sequencing issue, there's a larger issue. None of the songs are that memorable. Frontwoman Stephanie Goodman's shouted vocals are largely unintelligible, and the rest of the band lacks the muscle to pull of the Fall/Elastica/Sleater-Kinney pastiche they're attempting. "Forty-Five 45s" is the lone standout, a pretty almost-ballad heavily indebted to the drone of early Stereolab. "Talk to the Left," a mildly entertaining plea for a boyfriend to keep his mouth closed during horizontal dancing, is funny enough but ultimately feels like a Peaches throwaway. "Pregnancy Scene," the group's attempt at a political statement about teen pregnancy, stands out for perhaps the wrong reasons; it's a little bit catchy but the Sex Pistols sneer and Goblin keyboards are an odd mix, and the message about waiting until adulthood to give birth is overly obvious and a subject that seems more suited for sadness than punk anger. It takes more than quickly strummed guitars and shouted vocals to cause a ruckus and inspire youth rebellion. Sadly, Shrag never gets off the ground, and the band comes off more like disposable acts like Kenickie or Sleeper than their loftier heroes.

© Tim DiGravina /TiVo

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