The Shrine are a three piece from Venice, California who specialise in raucous garage rock that draws influences many different eras and scenes. Taking their influnces from 70’s US punk, 80’s metal, 90’s alternative amongst others, the band offer up eleven tracks on this follow up to their 2012 debut “Primitive Blast” and on the whole, they have done a fine job. Josh Landau (guitar / vocals), Courtland Murphy (bass) and Jeff Murray (drums) have cooked up eleven chaotic tracks that fly by in a whirlwind of what they term “psychedelic violence”
There was something about the album as a whole that didn’t quite grab me as much as I thought it would. When the band hit the spot, which they do on several tracks they manage to produce a hell of a racket. The tunes are simple enough, blasts of punked up metal that will sound huge in the live setting. If you imagine a crossover between Black Flag, Motörhead and Black Sabbath, you wouldn’t be far wrong (the lyrics for ‘The Duke’ were in fact penned by Black Flag’s Chuck Dukowski).
The only downside for me was some of the slower tracks. Its not that they were bad, far from it, but they could have kept the pace up and produced a no holds barred assault for the whole album. Some of the tracks just take the edge off and because of this it loses some of the momentum that it did so well in building up earlier on. It just means that the album sounds a slightly disjointed and lacking a little something. It’s a good album, but could have been better if it was maybe a track or two shorter.
All in all, this is a decent album, and most of it would appeal to fans of a few genres. The only negatives I found didn’t put me off the album too much, as there was still plenty to get excited about. The opening duo of ‘Destroyers’, ‘Worship’ and later on, the brilliant ‘Nothing Forever’ was enough for me to check out the older material from this disheveled group of longhairs (their words not mine). I imagine I would love the tracks in the live setting, and as they seem to tour with a lot of other bands I like, hopefully I will get to see them sooner rather than later.