THE SHRINE from California has been one of my best recent discoveries to come from the USA, and this debut record does not let me down. 'Primitive Blast' was released by Tee Pee Records in 2012 and offers nine wild cuts which stimulate the need of giving a middle-finger salute to the world. THE SHRINE manage to combine equal elements of 1970's hard rock and old hardcore punk into a staunchly individualistic stew that still sounds amazingly intense and contemporary in this jaded day and age. Josh Landau's blistering guitar work is perfectly balanced by his raw voice while the rhythm section (consisting of drummer Courtland Murphy and Jeff Murray on bass) makes every chord change feel like a punch in the face. I am talking here about sweet pain of course.
Obviously, this three guys all share a love for Black Flag and Bl'ast! but also for Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy. The whole blend is enhanced with a dash of 1980's thrash metal, and ready is the adrenaline rush. And even if their approach is not totally new, 'Primitive Blast' is just as refreshing as a cold beer on a hot summer evening. This is due mainly to the fact that THE SHRINE rips through their tunes with unbridled energy and an infectious joy of playing. Therefore it is no shortcoming that 'Primitive Blast' is not exactly bursting with variety, because this is more than compensated by the band's uncompromising sonic force.
Well, enough of words - let me try to wrap up what I've said. 'Primitive Blast' is exactly the right record for all outlaw bikers who are just plain old punks deep inside. In other words, anyone looking for a snotty album that rocks hard and loud should look no futher than this one. It burns, it hurts, and it's all for your enjoyment. And if you find yourself not really liking it right away, give it a few listens and it WILL grow on you. I speak from experience.