Shotmaker
The Complete Discography 1993-1996


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
December 29th, 2007 | 35 replies | 9,467 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


In theory, the experience of listening to the entirety of a band's recorded output in one sitting is a valuable one (and one that is rarely available outside of hardcore). In reality, few people actually want to sit and listen to Saetia's A Retrospective or even Minor Threat's Complete Discography all at once, at least not on a regular basis. Such is the case with Shotmaker's The Complete Discography 1993-1996, a 43-track retrospective documenting the group's short-lived but highly influential career. Hailing from Canada, Shotmaker are often credited, along with bands like Drive Like Jehu, with bridging the gaps between hardcore, emo and post-hardcore.

The first thing to notice about Shotmaker is their ability to create such a full and dense sound with only three members. The second is just how cohesive that sound is, particularly in the tracks recorded later in the band's career. The three instruments are so incredibly intertwined that is sometimes difficult to determine what is happening with each instrument individually. The shouty vocals (a mesh of Drive Like Jehu's Rick Froberg and Fugazi's Guy Picciotto) always seem to to complement the music to the point that neither element of the music is of higher importance, it's a whole package that cannot be separated from any of its parts.

After consuming a fair chunk of Complete Discography, the group's ability to craft an incredibly high volume of memorable riffs becomes quite plain. Basically the entire first disc (with a couple of exceptions) is comprised of brilliant riff after brilliant riff and the second disc isn't too much different. Whether its in brooding, quiet moments like "Controller.Controller", more complex, shifty parts like in "Table" or tracks like "Shortwave Radio" (which even sees experiments with techniques like violining) that exhibit the band rocking out as hard as possible, the band's abilities constantly impress.

When the members of so many modern hardcore bands are covered head to toe in tattoos and look as if they spend all day in the gym, it's refreshing to peruse the booklet of Complete Discography and to see three short skinny dudes dressed in normal clothes, looking as if it's their first year out of high school. Shotmaker's music is hard-hitting and heavy, but more importantly, it's honest. The final page of Complete Discography's booklet says "Due to DAT tapes being lost, all of this except tracks 1-10 were transferred from vinyl. This will explain some of the pops and hisses you might hear." And while this must have been a significant loss for the band, it proves to be a blessing in disguise. There's something about the crackle between tracks that makes Complete Discography feel all the more personal. What the record lacks in quality is ultimately more than made up for in authenticity. The same authenticity is seen in the band's lyrics, which are generally short snippets that use as little as possible to convey impassioned messages.

As a complete career-spanning retrospective, Complete Discography is obviously not perfect and while the option to experience the band's entire recorded output at once is there, it's probably not going to be something that most people can stomach. Nevertheless, Complete Discography offers us a powerful slab of hardcore that consistently places honesty above all else. Whether experienced episodically or in longer sessions, Complete Discography's combination of brutal vocals, masterful riffing and cohesive teamwork will always be a winning one.

Recommended Tracks
Shortwave Radio
Controller.Controller
Table



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user ratings (22)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
pixiesfanyo
December 29th 2007



1222 Comments


fuck yes.

yes. yes. yes.

this record rules. three penny opera is fucking awesome as well.

Neoteric
December 29th 2007



3243 Comments


One of you guys should send this to me.

Awesome review.

SynGates
December 29th 2007



2467 Comments


Great review, this sounds awesome.

Edit: Uninhibited and Driver from their myspace were sweet. I'll get this.This Message Edited On 12.29.07

cbmartinez
December 29th 2007



2525 Comments


awesome review man, I've never heard them but your review definitely got me interested

great job

DFelon204409
Emeritus
December 29th 2007



3995 Comments


This review is enough to make me get the disco. I've been rocking out to my 3 mp3s (probably from epitonic.com) for a while now. Three Penny opera is pretty sick too pixies.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
December 29th 2007



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've only heard a few TPO songs (their 7" I think) but I definitely want to hear more.

I got my copy of this for about 5 bucks on ebay. I seriously love this band so much, they're like the perfect midpoint between DLJ/Fugazi type post-hardcore and early emo.

plane
Staff Reviewer
December 29th 2007



6093 Comments


I have this but I'm missing the last five tracks. This bothers me greatly.

Very awesome review.

Killed4less
December 30th 2007



328 Comments


I heard a track of theirs off of last.fm a couple days ago I really liked it. Now your review has inspired me to try to get their discography. If anyone could email me a link that would be awesome. (offminorfan@yahoo.com)This Message Edited On 12.30.07

DFelon204409
Emeritus
December 30th 2007



3995 Comments


So I got this and it's tight wow ur right.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
December 31st 2007



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad to see that so many people dig this.

SubtleDagger
December 31st 2007



737 Comments


This rules

Fort23
January 2nd 2008



2475 Comments


I just got this for $10.

/eliminator=jealousThis Message Edited On 01.02.08

Mahavidya
January 2nd 2008



99 Comments


would you like a medal

br3ad_man
Emeritus
January 14th 2008



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mine was $5.50 tbh

flamethisuser
July 11th 2008



395 Comments


heavy as hell. pilot is fantastic.

plane
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2008



6093 Comments


Spinning this for the first time since December. Holds up pretty well.

Adabelle
September 2nd 2011



4254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

BUMP. Checking this out in about 5 minutes yo..

Adabelle
September 2nd 2011



4254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Feeling a 4.5 and I'm only a third of the way through. NOT THAT SPUTNIK WILL EVEN NOTICE THIS.

porch
September 21st 2011



8453 Comments


it's pretty good yeah

Adabelle
September 21st 2011



4254 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

IF BY PRETTY GOOD YOU MEAN AMAZING, THEN YEAH.



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