Shang-a-Lang - Waiting For The End [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Waiting For The End [7-inch] (2012)

Drunken Sailor Records

When the members of a band make the decision to bring the curtain down on their efforts under that one particular moniker, you always hope that the collective goes out with a bang as opposed to a whimper. There is nothing worse than finding that a group you've followed for years released something that does not befit the normal quality of their work and does not easily sit alongside previous releases. With Shang-a-Lang, this is the final record the band will release but I have no reference points to compare it to as I've never heard the band before. As such, I can only consider this five track seven-inch in isolation. But it's obvious that with no fewer than seven labels all being involved in the release of the record (I bought mine from Drunken Sailor Records here in the U.K.) and cover art provided by the much praised Mitch Clem/Nation of Amanda that this is not a band to be taken lightly by the uninitiated or long term fans alike.

First impressions of the Shang-a-Lang sound is that it's a more hyperactive version of Dan Webb and the Spiders: a very fuzzy, garage quality to the overall sound with none of the elements particularly coming to the fore, more a case of everything just fitting nicely together in a well-practiced manner. The music is frenetic and quick, yet nothing seems to get out of control, although I'd imagine in the live setting this could end up as being one unholy racket, and I mean that in a good way. The one thing that is impossible to get away from is that melodies rule for Shang-a-Lang, despite the almost breakneck speed and distorted quality of the music, as they are there for all to hear and appreciate.

At just shy of eight minutes in length, Shang-a-Lang do not overstay their welcome as they just knock down your door, charge in, create some chaos and leave almost as quickly as they arrived. At times that is just what I want from music, nothing excessive or overplayed, just something immediate and that doesn't take any real thought as you let the music do its stuff. Simply put this is very good, enjoyable music.

The cover art is extremely well done--three guys, hanging around (waiting for the end presumably), one looking at his watch whilst behind them (It appears that the end is already on its way). This is quality cover art, there's no two ways about it, but for anyone au fait with Mitch Clem's work that's no surprise.

Okay, it's time for me to seek out the back catalog and I think the starting point will be Collection, which brought together previously released works on one handy release. That was good of my employers here at Punknews to post a review of it a while back, making it easy to find out more about the band.