28 March 2009

"Shells" by Placebo

Veil of years
Veil of tears
Cut it down
Cut it down
By popular request we bring you the second album of a group so obscure discogs does not even have their correct info. Nowhere else are you likely to find the second album by the original Placebo, so Crash The Driver found a vinyl copy and I've restored it as much as possible.

Where England's Trance was exciting and made one hope for more, Shells is definitely safer and less interesting. Much of the fault for this must be laid at the steps of the dull production, which obscures rather than highlights the intricate guitar work and interlocking riffs. For example, "Jezebel Steel" is very much like a track on the debut, but comes across weaker. What a great misfortune!

Michelle Wild doesn't have the most expressive voice, but it has a tone that could have been quite lovely if treated better. And it's mixed so as to make most of the vocals impossible to hear.

Still, the band does make some attempt to spread their wings. "The Visionary" has some nice chord changes and odd pitch-shifted male vocals.

Despite any limitations, we provide this rarity for your listening pleasure! We are sure you'll find something here to enjoy.

Here's the CD cover, quite an improvement on the odd LP sleeve:

-- Second Chameleon


01 Big Apple (4:09)
02 Samurai Team (5:24)
03 Jezebel Steel (4:22)
04 The Visionary (4:51)
05 In Shisha (5:59)
06 Horizons (5:35)
07 The Base (4:39)
08 Blue Babies (4:08)
UK LP Aura Records [AUL 725] 1983
UK CD See for Miles [SEECD 489] 1998

Michelle Wild: voice
Gary Wild: guitar, synthesizer
Phil Armstrong: synthesizer, guitar, piano
Jimmy Giro: bass
Steve Wheatley: drums
Willie Duggan: electric mandolin

Recorded at Oasis and Linx Studios
Engineered by Jon Craig
Produced by Gary Wild


  1. kind of a cool choice here. thank you

  2. thanks!
    came across England's Trance some time ago and was fascinated by their sound.

  3. Yes, England's Trance is a better record. But having said that, there is still enough to enjoy on Shells.
    And: after 25 years of searching for this record I never expected I would ever listen to these songs ... You are a king amongst men to post it here. Thank you !

  4. Thank you very much for sharing Shells!
    I've been trying to find this album for ages!
    Awesome Blog! :)

  5. Apologies for the album cover.........it was meant to express the world in the size of each countries protein intake. The first album cover would have been even better if Aaron Sixx had given the money for the 'photo we wanted. The first album cover was actually not as shown.

  6. There is a 3rd unrecorded one Mick Mercer is the only one who ever heard it many moons ago.

  7. Hi Gary (assuming it is indeed you): Thanks for chiming in. By the Mercer comment do you mean that you had demos that he heard? I am sure many would be interested in these if you'd like to make them available.

    As for the first album cover... it could not be any better! One of the truly incredible images of the era, which sums up so much.

    (We can be contacted through the sidebar links.)

  8. whao , gary .your still around ,

    good stuff ,

    yours little wille ,

    p.s ........still got a house full of mandolins ,

    gan canny . w.d

  9. Hello Willie,
    I too have a house full of guitars still playing and enjoying it more than ever back in the North East after 26 years' in that shithole snakepit. If you live in the ne then drop a line here and we will meet if you want.

    1. good to hear you ..ayr still kicking around in the N.E ......get in touch ;



    2. yo , how you doin ..not sure if my last message got to you ......it was a while age............some bloke doing a book about 'north east punk ' been trying to track you down ....dunno how he found me........I directed him to this site.dunno if anyone uses it tho ,

      gAN CANNY ,


    3. Well, though this blog is rather defunct, I can still be contacted at second.chameleon@gmail.com.

  10. We have a third album.......

  11. heyy, thank you so much for posting this link!! i loved the 1st record and looking forward to listen to the 2nd!!

  12. Any information on the availability of the third album would be greatly appreciated!