Shrimp Boat was a breath of fresh air when their Bar/None release Duende hit the streets. The band blended influences from bluegrass to jazz, all wrapped up in their own take on alternative rock. They broke up in 1993, but the members went on to participate in stellar projects on their own. Sam Prekop records as both a solo artist and with Sea and Cake (which also features Shrimp Boat alum Eric Claridge). Brad Wood is an influential producer who also works with Tortoise. Ian Scheller fronted a band called Falstaff and now builds instruments and amps. David Kroll moved on to concentrate on his painting. Historically, Shrimp Boat was the launching pad for many interesting projects. Speckly was the band’s first self-released full length album.
I loved Shrimp Boat’s Bar/None records and I’ve been more or less fond of the member’s later works. I was anticipating something wonderful, but you shouldn’t look to early works expecting the majesty of the magnum opus. The elements that made Dundee and Cavale wonderful are all present on Speckly. The problem is, the elements hadn’t quite gelled as a unified sound. The songs sound like a collection of homemade demos. If you’re a real fan of Shrimp Boat, Sea and Cake or even Tortoise, you may get a kick out of hearing how things began. If you’re not already a fan, you’d be better off searching out the Bar/None discs or checking out Sea and Cake.
Aum Fidelity: www.aumfidelity.com