MCRACKINS - Bat Out of Shell

It never occurred to me that bands actually make a career out of playing this type of music - the same type of bubblegum punk that The Jellys dabbled with during CJ's post-Honeycrack / pre-Wildhearts reunion period. Sugary sweet pop that is so infectiously disposable that your conscious will have discarded it before the CD is back on the rack, but your subconscious will still be trying to shake off when they nail down the coffin lid!

However, it would seem that The McRackins have been enjoying underground success in this field since as long ago as 1995. Since then, they've notched up an incredible eleven full-length albums and an impressive 100,000 sales worldwide. After a much-needed break from recording (following 1999's appropriately titled 'We Like To Make Records'), the Vancouver-based trio (Bil - guitar & vocals, Fil - bass, and dog Spot - drums) return in late-2006 with the gloriously oddball 'Bat Out Of Shell'.

Crammed with twelve 3-minute odes to summer, sunshine and all things bright and cheery, 'Bat Out Of Shell' is the perfect antidote to the winter blues, and could seriously spoil your Christmas if you find it under the tree this festive season. Just one spin of 'Summer Of Life', and you'll find yourself stretched out on the lawn, wearing nothing more than Bermuda shorts and a generous layer of suntan lotion, surrounded by empty cans of Stella, while the neighbours are stuffing themselves with turkey and pudding and catching the Christmas Day Bond movie!

Come to think of it, the Bermudas and Stella scenario sounds far more appealing to me! It's not like you're gonna see any snow, and no one wants to run the risk of waking up in front of the Queen, do they?

Elsewhere, 'Rub & Tug' is quite possibly the daftest song this side of 70's sitcom buffoon Frank Spencer, and I'm only slightly disturbed by how endearing I find an anthem to getting a hand-job from a masseuse! Crackin' stuff!

The best thing about discovering a band this far into their career is the joy of never having to wait for them to release a new album - you just delve deeper into their back-catalogue. On the strength of 'Bat Out Of Shell' alone, I shall be wasting no time in familiarising myself with The McRackins in their entirety. If you too are in a similar position, I can think of no better place to begin this journey than with 'Bat Out Of Shell'.

8/10

by Danzai

Visit the McRackins Website