Monday, March 8, 2010


Holy fuck is this album loud. It's easily the first thing that hits you-this fucker is hotwired for maximum bloodletting. Things are going to get destroyed, not the least of which might be your eardrums. I'm no pussy when it comes to volume but i had to turn the headphones DOWN a little (just a little, though-i'm still monstrous) when this came roaring in. It's not a record so much as an assault. And i guess that sums it up pretty well.
Shit and Shine are a strange, strange band, obviously birthed from the noise rock school but also having oblique distant ties to the worlds of doom metal and drone as well. Sounding like the resultant child birthed of a night of drunken revelry between Birchville Cat Motel, the Melvins and Astral Social Club Shit and Shine inhabit a headspace all their own, grinding out brutal unending noise spasms, with a heavy emphasis on blown out percussives and in-the-red guitar squalor. It's crazy stuff, man, and you'd be right to be to scared. This is not for prissy ears. This is for people who like it fucking rough, who like to wallow in the mess, who chase a handful of white cross with a fifth of codeine and then ask for seconds. Mindfuckingingly heavy damage here, with little breathing room and no real reprieve for a good solid 80 minutes. There's no introspection or philosophy at work, just good old fashioned rock antagonism like Pussy Galore used to make, just amped WAY the fuck up and with aggression to spare. This record beats it into you, no question. Shit and Shine DEMAND you take notice-there's no passive engagement with the material, no hopes for any sort of experience that isn't 100% visceral and no hope of leaving unscathed. I think seeing this band live would scare the shit out of me. I don't know if i could take it.
As stated, this motherfucker is 80 minutes long, and it feels like it. Even at its most crushingly, blindingly repetitive (and there are several moments of massive hypnorock, like Pharoah Overlord mainlined on speed and cocaine) you can't zone out-it's too damn massive and crumbling to get lost in. You're always running for your life. You might be banging your head and screaming "fuck yeah" while you do it but you're running. It's one big sonic goop, a porridge of audio horror, served up in appalingly grotesque helpings at a table where if you don't finish you're going to be killed. Do you get the idea yet? Good.
Better than most other bands dabbling in the style, Shit and Shine understand the "noise" aspect of noise rock. It's not just turning things up and fucking around with your files on the computer. it's physical-there's an immediacy to it that can't be replicated by machines or delay pedals, no matter how much sound they can bring to it. It's the fury of people hammering away at their instruments, filtering pure destructionism through their hands and onto some guitar strings or crash cymbals. How hard can you hit? How many strings can you break? Are you fucking bleeding yet? Noise is affecting because it's assaulting, yes, but also because it's primal and it satisfies an animal need for the display of power and a show of dominance. It's an ancient, evolutnionary style of music, all things considered. Anyone can dabble and make a racket but only a Promethean can bring it down from the mountain and ignite a countryside.
And it will burn.

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