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One Less Heartless to Fear

Shipping News
NOISE POLLUTION/KARATE BODY

Another most-welcome return to disc by important figures. Jason Noble, Jeff Mueller, Todd Cook and Kyle Crabtree are delivering the group’s first collection in five (very tumultuous) years. Though Shipping News is known foremost for moody workouts of slow-burning metal machine musculature, on this set, you’ve got to listen carefully to hear much of their pure-post rock, metronomes-from-other-dimensions side. “Half a House” revels in that, but the instrumental only works as a bit of leavening and balance here. Mostly, this cohesive set catches Shipping News raging like zealots, and their sparks fly up and hit all your sensitive spots. The nine tracks were cut live, some at Skull Alley, then brought into the studio for minimal tinkering. The sequence begins with a few exercises that set the template: complex rumbles meeting a cacophony of choppy rhythmic guitars, fronted by gritty coffeehouse-poetry rants. “The Delicate” kicks it all up with a dollop of Clash, and that classic leads into a worthwhile revisitation of 2005’s “Axons and Dendrites.”