Boomkat Product Review:
Rainy Miller’s Fixed Abode present the debut by vital members of Manchester’s nightlife economy, lurking under the Shell Company mask
Most notably defined by the husky poetry of Rosabella Allen, whom keener listeners may recognise from Rainy’s outstanding EP ‘Desquamation (Fire, Burn. Nobody)’, Shell Company are fleshed out by Chris and Rob Banks, whose brooding backdrops ideally contour and caress the vocals with strokes of post-rock/shoegaze/ambient guitar and textured electronics.
Their debut ‘Adorn’ feels like a side quest to Rainy’s work, following its threads of thought on a deeply bruised, C21st Britain to a headspace better compared with Jonnine ov HTRK or even Rat Heart. As those allusions imply, they also find hope and succour in vulnerability and damage, humbly sharing their feels as a lowkey lifeline to others going thru it right now.
It’s not hard to picture Rosa drifting past Strangeways at dawn after a slog at The White Hotel, sharing thoughts with her iPhone on ‘Voicenote1’, heart briefly skipping a beat to ‘All In (The Darkness)’, while the title tune conurs a scene of grey-grizzled city edgelands and ‘Graceless’ splits the difference between Rat Heart and Celestial, while ‘Half Heart’ shores it up in a laconic, bittersweet bloom of thorny guitar and overloaded 808 heartbreak mired in the feeling of being un/comfortable in a crowd.