Music for Gray, Rainy Days
Southern Pennsylvania post-punk outfit The Shackeltons have released Records, their second album after a nearly five year hiatus and an almost complete band overhaul. The Shackeltons get their name from Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, and Records is exactly the soundtrack you’d want on an expedition through the arctic. Joining fellow Pennsylvanians Creepoid and Psychic Teens in the fuzzed out post-punk take-over that has been going on over the past few years, The Shackeltons are starting to make their name alongside the best of them.
Comparable to older ambient post-punk group mewithoutyou, The Shackletons combine ambient, rocking instrumentals and fuzzy vocals punctuated by the occasional passionate scream. Recent single “The Ache” is one of the tracks that best exemplifies their clear influence from bands like mewithoutyou, picking up right where they left off. The lo-fi hazy drone that underlines Records hits its peak toward the middle of the album in the song “Remember,” one of the highlights of the record.
What makes this album most memorable, though, is the absolutely heart-warming way that it begins and ends, with short recordings of the mother of a band member singing songs like “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” and talking briefly about the song. That alone is worth the cost of the album, guaranteed.
In the past couple of years, post-punk bands have proven time and time again that they are a part of one of the boldest and most innovative genres in rock music today, and The Shackeltons are holding up the standard. This band has taken huge steps of maturation in the past ten years, and if they keep growing from here, we can expect some truly memorable records to come. It’s pouring rain outside and the best way to accompany the dreariness is equally grey, calm, and hazy music, and thankfully the Shackeltons have given us Records for just that purpose.