The Shrine

Album Title: 
Primitive Blast
Release Date: 
Monday, July 9, 2012
Review Type: 

Heh...funny “info sheet” on this band found on the label's website (it's somewhat similar to the German text that came with the download promo copy of the album) : “On the night of November 6th, 1979 Black Sabbath was at their most drug addled and explosive standing. They were on tour supporting their newly released Never Say Die album...” (arguably their most heavy album ever) “...and had a night off in Los Angeles. After knocking back a few drinks at the infamous Rainbow Bar, they decided to check out the local Rock scene at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go. Arriving late, they caught the tail end of a set by The Circle Jerks...” (yeah...they wére around at that time!) “...Feeling intimidated yet inspired, they rented a rehearsal space and spent the rest of the night jamming. For an unknown reason they exclusively played Thin Lizzy material and Keith Moon was sitting in... These events never took place. But if they did, the results may have sounded similar to Venice, California's The Shrine.”!

Give the story above a couple of alterations [such as Ozzy dropping out on joining in the LA scene's check-up, and BS's musicians meeting Flo and Eddie of former Frank Zappa fame (who get equally impressed by the Punk Rock vibe and join in on the festivities later on, spiking the guys' drinks with amphetamines before rehearsals start), and while already under the influence bassist Geezer Butler picks up one of Iommi's stray guitars (he actually did play the guitar before getting together with Iommi, you know)...which leaves drummer Bill Ward, whom finds his drum stool already occupied by Moon, to start playing the bass – the latter is perhaps the most incredible part of this story alteration], and the image sounds a little more like what The Shrine does! Personally, before I looked into the band's background, I put them down as emulating a hybrid sound of late '60s Acid Rock with adrenalized early '70s Garage Rock, using truly busy twin lead guitar and vocals. Regrettably, there's no way the threesome of Josh Landau (guitar and vocals), Courtland Murphy (bass) and Jeff Murray (drums) could handle playing that kind of music live without the help of pre-recorded extra guitars!

Hell, a short history-of-the-band, okay? The Shrine was started in 2008, and the band recorded their debut album Bless Off (the album artwork includes the appendix Demo to the title), with local hero Dave O. Jones under productional guidance of the notorious Chuck Dukowski (real name Gary McDaniel, possibly best known for being a founding member and bassist of the infamous Black Flag, he also played and recorded with Würm, October Faction, SWA, and more recently The Chuck Dukowski Sextet). I spite of the fact that the band had already come under the attention of their current label (playing at at least one of their label nights), Bless Off was self-released in late September 2011.

Via the band's own website (http://) (look for “Tunes” button at right bottom of page) you can listen to samples of all tracks of both albums. For full-length (older) stuff (website has not been updated in a long time), check (www.) myspace.comshrinefuzz to find a foursome of live tracks and a previously unreleased studio track. Haven't checked the latter out, but I'm sure it's a good as the more current album. I mean, quality tells, you know!