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The Shut-Ups; Photo Credit: Tony Jenkins
The Shut-Ups, the Atlanta-Athens quintet known for unreliable narrators and reliably catchy New-Wavish arrangements, have emerged from an uncharacteristically long period of studio silence with their punchiest, most concise album to date. Just Another Generation, the band’s fifth album, is a whirlwind voyage through humanity’s various intersections with Time.
“Having grown up on preachy television sitcoms, I thought it was important that we say everything that needed to be said about Time in exactly thirty minutes,” says bandleader Don Condescending. “We spent several years trimming couplets, deleting extraneous measures of music, using contractions to save syllable time, increasing beats per minute, and replacing single entendres with doubles and doubles with triples. It was exhausting.”
Accordingly, Just Another Generation moves at a breakneck pace, as if racing just ahead of an impending doomsday. From the opening anthem, “We’re Gonna Waste Your Time”, with its pointedly pointless counting exercise, to “Don’t Get Me Started”, whose not-yet extant protagonist tries and fails to prevent his own conception, to the title song, a put-down (thinly disguised as a celebration) of each generation’s tendency to think of itself as the biggest deal ever,
Just Another Generation is a power pop micro-aggression against the notion that we are masters of time rather than vice versa. “It isn’t lost on us that due to various complications, our “Time” album took us about eight years longer to make than anyone thought it would,” says Condescending. Recording commenced in 2009 with engineering assistance from Bill Doss (Olivia Tremor Control, The Sunshine Fix) and was completed in 2017.
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