Waterpistol by Shack: The Greatest Album You Don’t Own

Stop whatever you're doing and look at this. One of rock 'n' roll's most underrated bands just might change your life.
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Stop whatever you're doing and look at this. One of rock 'n' roll's most underrated bands just might change your life.

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Forget The Pale Fountains. Forget Zilch (Shack’s debut album). Forget the recording studios burning down. Forget DAT tapes mislaid  in American rental cars. Forget drug addictions - we’re not here to judge. This is rock n roll, man! Forget Star Street. Forget Ghetto recordings. Forget Marina Records. Forget the initial release. Forget the re-release, the different artwork, the two extra tracks. Forget the fawning who’s who of rock royalty proclaiming their love of Mick Head’s opus. Forget the heroic failure. Forget the nearly man status. Forget what went before and what came after and just focus on Waterpistol. Is this the greatest album you don’t own? Probably.

Born of Mick and John Head’s, love of Love, of John Barry sound tracks, of The Byrds, of The Beatles, and Mick’s obsession with The Stone Roses brilliant debut album, Waterpistol stands, musically, if not critically, or commercially, shoulder to shoulder with the best of them. She sits there easily beside Pet Sounds, or Rubber Soul, or Forever Changes, or The Las, or, indeed, The Stone Roses. For some of us, Waterpistol sits slightly above the others. The accepted classics. Granted, if, say, Charlie Harper is your hero, or Throbbing Gristle get you through Sunday mornings,  Waterpistol might not be for you. But, if you’re a sucker for well strummed acoustic guitars, beautiful singing, vocal harmonies, nah, nah, nahs, and la, la, las, all over the place, do yourself a favour and enhance your summer, stop whatever you’re doing - it’s not that important - and buy Waterpistol now.

For those of you who care - Shack are essentially Mick and John Head, brothers from Liverpool who’s previous band, The Pale Fountains, never quite lived up to the commercial expectations their record label had for them. Despite crafting two wondrous albums and a host of excellent singles. Shack are possibly the most criminally over looked band of my and your lifetime. They have released 5 full albums, of which Waterpistol is by far the best, a best of, plus a collection of sessions, extras and B-sides. Mick and John also recorded the album The Magical World Of The Strands as Micheal Head and The Strands.