Shat Shorts’ spastic energy is juvenile and rejuvenating

Shat Shorts’ spastic energy is juvenile and rejuvenating

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing.

Since its formation in 2010, Washington D.C.’s Shat Shorts has worn its Pissed Jeans-influence on its similarly monikered sleeve. It’d be easy to label the band as a novelty—what with its scatological name and song titles like “Liveblogging The Loss Of My Virginity” and “So I Hear The Faint Are Having A Reunion”—but the 10 tracks that make up its self-titled full-length prove that the D.C. unit warrants immediate attention rather than outright dismissal.

Shat Shorts snakes its way through songs that rarely eclipse the two-minute mark, but each one is packed tight with art-damaged hooks that demand memorization. Perhaps Shat Shorts’ chief accomplishment is its ability to traverse hardcore’s subsets in ways that see it culling influences without merely aping them. On the aforementioned “Liveblogging The Loss Of My Virginity,” the band’s spasms recall math-core innovators Botch, but with an injection of Steve Albini’s absurd social commentary in every line that rabidly froths out of vocalist Andrew Nichols’ mouth. At times, Nichols’ delivery finds kinship with Ceremony’s Ross Farrar, but even with the band’s constant nods in different directions, it always feels like its head is firmly on its shoulders. And though its name may elicit a chuckle (or perhaps a groan), its music proves substantial enough to trump any novelty.

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