A rock'n'roll singer doesn't always have to be ready to spit, howl, and scrap until he's laid bleeding on the club floor — but it certainly doesn't hurt. On "The Ache," the Shackeltons' singer Mark Redding sounds like a sailor lashed to the mast in the middle of a storm: He's exhausted, hysterical, and split between extremes, snarling and stuttering out pointed questions as his band breaks down behind him. After a few minutes slamming into everything in sight, the song builds to a call-and-response peroration where Iommi-tuned guitars collide with Redding's anguished refrain: "I wanna shake something!"
Back in 2006, SPIN compared the Shackeltons to the Pixies, Fugazi, and Les Savy Fav. We lauded their debut self-titled album. But after two years spent kicking it around and trying to break big, they began an extended hiatus after Redding took time off to deal with his mother's worsening cancer. "The Ache," the lead single off the band's Records (due April 22 via Think Loud Entertainment), could be about any of several struggles for the band. But it might best describe how it feels getting back to what you do best after six years away.
Hear the "The Ache" below.