Shotwell Dead Bats CD

I challenge you to find a San Francisco DIY institution more honest, more real, than SHOTWELL. Jimmy Shotwell has been a fixture and a presence for what feels like forever, and in SHOTWELL’s 25-year existence they have gone through countless iterations and incarnations while he somehow makes me feel like it’s 1996 every time I run into him. Musically, this is perhaps the strongest SHOTWELL release since the MIAMI split (which is—gulp—almost 20 years old). The ska parts are aggressive, the hooks are scraped off the streets, and the lyrical bite is as on-point as it’s ever been, weaving social, personal and political into one suffocating blanket. “Mystery Trip” is the choice cut, a painfully dark number that will be the most lighthearted number on the disc if you don’t look deeper. Rhythm section (currently Steve/GITS on drums and Fucko/STRYCHNINE, NAKED AGGRESSION on bass) is perfect, laying the foundation for a sonic journey through the sometimes filthy streets and often uncomfortable history of San Francisco.