I listened to the new album by THE SHRINE – ‘Bless Off’, due for release on March 11th on Tee Pee records. There are eleven tracks on the album and this is the follow up album to their debut ‘Primitive Blast’. THE SHRINE guys are: Josh Landau (guitar/vocals), Courtland Murphy (bass) and Jeff Murray (drums). THE SHRINE formed at a house party in Venice Beach 2008, and in 2010 Chuck Dukowski, who’s also from Venice Beach, discovered the band and went on to produce their early stuff. By 2011, the band was on tour across America with Fu Manchu and Dukowski on separate tours.
This music is not for vegetarians; this is full-blooded Californian Rock ‘n’ Roll. It’s proper ‘Dirt Band’ with gutsy bass and meaty guitar and drums. It’s a sound you can really get your teeth stuck into, the type of sound you only really get from recording on reel to reel and that’s what this is recorded on, pure analogue, velvet pleasure.
I know the difficulties an engineer faces when trying to achieve a sound like this and I think between them all they’ve really pulled it off. I just wish it were on vinyl because it is so reminiscent of beefy 70’s rock. Even the lad’s look they just stepped out of a 70’s bar, with their long hair, beards, denim and leather jackets.
For me the sound is just right but you must turn your stereo up to it’s max and be prepared to sacrifice a pair of speakers, ‘Blow your cones!’. You just can’t go wrong, with the depth and flavour coming through. This album will blow your 14 hole docks off!! These guys sleep on Marshall stacks. It’s the kind of sound you could only dream of getting using a digital set up. The depth in there is something else, fathoms of deep drums and bass. Get on your knees and mosh it out, good, good stuff, ‘legend’, I’d say.
This kitchen of sound is full of hearty meals for the ears. I pretty much enjoyed them all, “Bless Off” is great. What interests me most, is that when I used to listen to early punk, some of the recordings were, well lets face it, CRAP! And I think that’s what interests me most about this album, because the sound is feckin’ brilliant. In the song ‘The Duke’, Chuck Dukowski penned lyrics in 1983 originally intended for an unreleased Black Flag song.
THE SHRINE‘s wolf mascot is a homage to legendary skate punk and gig flyer artist Ric Clayton (Suicidal Tendencies) and Dogtown Skateboards. So get your skateboard out, headphones on and ride the rails of rock with this one. “OOOOUUUWWWUUUURRRR!!!!”; even I’m howling like a wolf now.
Good luck and enjoy.