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If You Can Get It
They're a cut above. The sharpest blade in the drawer. A dagger straight to the heart of rock mediocrity. Sorry for all the knife puns... but then Adebisi Shank are our favourite post-rock crew named after a form of slashing weapon popular among prison inmates...
Celina Murphy, 23 Aug 2010
It was snowing in Dublin when last I went to interview Mick Roe and his masked cohort Vincent McCreith. That means I've had seven, count'em seven months, to figure out the Adebisi Shank effect – the pandemonium the instrumental trio have inflicted on the music scene here, in the UK and 6,000 miles away in Japan; the way they've had hard-nosed journalists, chart-topping musicians and music snobs all aflutter.
Maybe it’s because they’re the tightest live act in the country. Maybe it’s because they do it all themselves (Roe co-runs thriving independent label the Richter Collective). Maybe it’s because their second album, This Is The Second Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank, sounds like no music you’ve ever heard. I honestly don't know. And when it comes to capturing their power on parchment, I'm stumped.
What I can tell you is that a few hours after I received my advance copy of This Is The Second… a stranger in a bar told me, quite brutally, that if I’d had it with me at the time, he’d have happily murdered me in cold blood and stepped over my beautiful, putrefying cadaver to get his hands on the promo. Adebisi Shank simply do not have casual fans.
“I like William Bowerman’s reaction best,” drummer Mick Roe laughs, namechecking the London-based session drummer currently touring with La Roux. “He said he listens to the new album 10 times a day, every day.”
Bassist Vinny McCreith chimes in; “My brother went (demonstrates a barely-there nod of the head) ‘It’s pretty good.’ And that means a lot coming from him.”
Whatever the reaction to album number two, Shank fans can expect to be down right bewildered. Where once they found Shut Up And Listen-style math rock, they’ll now hear a Japanese-inspired mess of horns, marimba, vocoders and vintage synthesizers.
“We worked twice as hard and twice as long on it,” McCreith explains, “but it was twice as easy.”
“The last album was just a head-wrecker,” Roe remembers. “It wasn’t even fun to do. It was fun to go to Baltimore and record with J. Robbins. The process all the way up to that was hellish! I think we were actually still writing on the plane!”