It’s going to be hard for Albini, Weston and Trainer to ever top what we find on Dude Incredible. Worthy of filing alongside and above At Action Park and 1000 Hurts, it’s the sound of one of the great bands at the height of their powers.
What’s most impressive here, and what ties Shellac to their former peers who are either long gone at this point or grinding through the reunion treadmill, is the level of commitment involved. Albini’s a sweaty mess, Weston’s bass only gains more meat to it over the years, and Todd Trainer remains a drummer whose every hit sounds like it hurts a hundred times more than the last. It’s like they took a look at what they were doing and pulled everything apart, rediscovering the level of discomfort that drives them, and working out why they really need to be doing this in the process. Prior records often contained a track or two that were lost somewhere between inspiration, endurance tests, and technical feats (“Didn't We Deserve a Look at You the Way You Really Are” from Terraform ticks all those boxes), but there’s none of that here. Instead, Shellac go straight for your throat and don't loosen their grip until the bitter end.