Shriekback returns with their its first album since 2019’s Some Kinds Of Light. It is the fourth studio album to feature the core trio of Barry Andrews, Carl Marsh, and Martyn Barker. Shriekback is still with us since their debut album was released in 1982. Even though a lot has changed over the years, one thing that has been consistent is their ability to write and record their own distinct music. 1000 Books is no exception.
1000 Books is a fairly dark album, both musically and lyrically. As usual, Shriekback is not pulling any punches, from the first keyboard and drums of the opening track, the slow and moody “Space In The Blues”, to the end of the last song, Shriekback paints a bleak picture. For example, in “Space In The Blues”, Andrews sings of doomed optimism with beautiful backing vocals from Wendy and Sarah Partridge. Like the album, it builds and builds, to a wonderful ending. This clearly sets the tone. “I am blessed and I am cursed. I am fearing the worst. Obsessively charting our last days on Earth”.
And in Shriekback style, they do it very melodically. Here, Shriekback explores various genres and sounds quite effectively. It is not experimental but it is a chance for them to spread their wings and use keyboards, straight ahead rock and some very heavy hard rock sound effectively.
And lyrically, the songs read like poems. There is a depth present that draws the listener in and demands one’s attention. In combination with the music, the listener is hooked.
Quite frankly Shriekback keeps getting better and better. Like all classic albums, 1000 Books is gets better with each repeated listening. This should be considered as a classic Shriekback release, and I think in the future will be seen as such.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: SHRIEKBACK – 1000 BOOKS