“Who doesn't/Emotionally Connect/To Music?” declaims Sandy Milroy in his observations of Daisy, a young woman who downloads the latest Adele album, midway through the nine minute epic that is It is Morning, the finger-jabbing slow-core centrepiece of the second cassette release by Milroy's Shareholder project as a full band. This follows on from Shareholder's previous band-based cassette, Jimmy Shan, that followed a slew of long out of print releases by Milroy in his solo Shareholder guise.
As a member of sludge-noise auteurs
Muscletusk as well as siring Shareholder, Milroy has long been a key
figure of Edinburgh's cross-pollinating avant-noise underground. In
the last couple of years, however, by introducing vocals to the power
trio that Shareholder has become, there is a more focused intent to
the guitar, bass and drum clatter that lets rip over seven tracks
like the bombs released from the war plane on the cassette's front
With fellow travellers Grant Smith,
also of Muscletusk, and Graham Stewart, aka King Rib, providing
battering ram style ballast, Milroy's caustic poetics lash out with
sarcastic barbs, including those aimed at the aforementioned Daisy.
As 'Something Falls Out Of The Back of Her Head/She'll Have to See to
it Later', what initially sounds like frustration at the
disposability of commercial pap takes a more menacing turn. This is
compounded on the instrumental insistence of Theme from Hashtaggart.
While the template for such urban
grimoires aren't hard to spot – Dragnet and Room to Live era Fall
immediately spring to mind – Milroy and Shareholder's brand of
wilfully opaque and relentless belligerence is at times even more
pummelling. This is especially so on a version of Our House, which
takes Graham Nash's 'ode to countercultural domestic bliss', as the
piece of Me Generation bubblegum was once described, and invests it
with a withering disdain that borders on contempt in a bittersweet
but thrilling assault course of refreshingly uneasy listening.
Product, November 2016