Formed in Butte, Montana September of 2010, Shellshock Lullaby, is the artistic vision of singer-songwriter Russ Nelson. The project has released 3 EP’s so far, prior to the latest 8-track recording, “A Lighter Shade”. Shellshock Lullaby, who in the past has had their music mixed by Stephen Hawkes (Hearts&Hands, Jonny Craig, Closure in Moscow, Tides of Man), and has shared the stage with Black Flag, is continuing to gain momentum with each subsequent release and appearance.
Speaking of the new Ep, Russ Nelson says: “We’ve really ventured more into the world of electronic and EDM music; let that seep through into this album. This album in itself will absolutely shape my future work in the sense that I’m comfortable with stepping away from the whole “rock n roll” image…”
There are many things that make Shellshock Lullaby good. The first thing you notice is Russ Nelson passionate voice and the notes he hits. His voice can convey the emotions of each song which completely complements the lyrics, almost always occupied with the varying states of relationships.
Each song on “A Lighter Shade” is great and has a reason, there are no songs just quickly written and randomly tossed on the album. Some the songs have at one time or another been stuck in my head all day long and I have walked around signing them silently to myself.
If there are any downsides at all to “A Lighter Shade” it is its length. If you have any affinity with acoustically-driven emo-rock, you will beg for more after only 8 tracks. Russ unleashes his passion right from the opening track, “I’ve Walked That Road (feat. Greg Haberek)”.
Shellshock Lullaby’s dulcet and touching songs combine smooth acoustic guitar with percussion and full back up harmonies to create beautiful songs filled with emotion that you can listen to for hours on end. This isn’t emotion for the sake of whining about it. The ideas and feelings expressed in most of these songs are very deep and the lyrics are incredibly catchy – case in point, the single, “Backwards”.
Russ Nelson has the talent to use the minimal amount of instrumentation and still sound musically complex – adding his smooth, emotional voice and the stunning harmonies to guide the listener into his captivating storytelling. “The Look in Your Eyes (feat. Greg Haberek)” and “Without Serendipity” are prime examples of this impressive musical direction.
It’s hard to maintain a professional distance from an EP that is able to, so easily, get under the skin and speak straight to the heart, especially what for me is one of the EP’s standout tracks – “Crimson Sky”. Whether they are expressing the anguish of break-up, betrayal, or reconciliation, Russ’ lyrics always cut straight to the core.
Shellshock Lullaby creates acoustic emotional bliss with a coalescence of heart-wrenching vocals and powerful melodies.