Todd Trainer

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Todd Trainer
Todd Trainer 01.jpg
Trainer in 2015
Background information
Also known asBrick Layer Cake
Origin Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
Genres Post-punk, noise rock, post-hardcore
Instrument(s) Drums
Formerly of Breaking Circus, Rifle Sport, Shellac

Todd Trainer is an American musician who was the drummer for the group Shellac. He also performs as a solo artist under the name Brick Layer Cake. He previously played drums for the bands Breaking Circus and Rifle Sport, and he played drums with Scout Niblett in 2005.


Personal life

Trainer resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota and maintains close ties to his parents and sister Terri. His Italian greyhound Uffizi inspired the title of Shellac's fourth studio album Excellent Italian Greyhound . He and his dog, along with his band Shellac, were featured in an episode of Dogs 101 in 2009 centered on Italian Greyhounds.

Drumming style

Critics generally have favored Trainer's primitive approach to rock drumming. A review in The New York Times of a 2001 Shellac performance described the "stubborn crack and thud of Todd Trainer's drums", [1] and critic Brent DiCrescenzo wrote that "Trainer beats his drums so primally, you'd swear he's only wearing a loincloth." [2] A review in Spin of the Shellac album Terraform declared that Trainer "gracefully resurrects the lost art of the [John] Bonham stomp". [3]

Brick Layer Cake

Trainer performing with Shellac in 2007 Shellac ATP 2007-batteur.jpg
Trainer performing with Shellac in 2007

Brick Layer Cake is the solo project of Todd Trainer, who plays every instrument and sings in a deep, spoken word monotone. The music of Brick Layer Cake features very slow tempos and "drone-like" compositions, which Steve Albini described as follows: “Think of Nick Drake on downers fronting Black Sabbath, if Black Sabbath played only the good parts of their songs."[ citation needed ]


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  1. Ann Powers (January 23, 2001). "POP REVIEW; Playing All the Angles of a Male Band". New York Times . Retrieved November 16, 2008.
  2. Brent DiCrescenzo (December 31, 1999). "Shellac: Terraform". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on September 22, 2008. Retrieved November 16, 2008.
  3. Review of Terraform by Shellac, Spin, May 1998, p.140, 7/10 rating.