Friday, December 4, 2009

If You Build It...

SHRINEBUILDER – “Shrinebuilder” CD ’09 (Neurot, US) – Funny thing about so-called super groups. Sometimes they’re not all that super. Take Blind Faith, for example: Clapton and Baker from Cream, Stevie Winwood (Traffic) plus hot-shot bassist Ric Grech (Family). It was ok but you weren’t going to confuse it with “Disraeli Gears,” were you. Sticking to a similar pedigree, how’s about West, Bruce & Laing? The Fat Man & Corky straight outta Mountain tearing it up with Jack Bruce? Wow! Um…again, decent but anybody rushing to trade their copy of “Climbing” for that one? Didn’t think so. Let’s move on in years to a little collaboration between Slash, Duff and Scott Weiland. Bleccchh! “Appetite For Destruction” and “Purple” are still right on your shelf where they belong, aren’t they? And so on, but the point is this: Just because you take a bunch of super-talents from different camps and throw ‘em in a blender, the results aren’t necessarily the sweetest nectar.

And so we come to SHRINEBUILDER, the much-hyped summit between Scott “Wino” Weinrich (The Obsessed, St. Vitus, Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand, etc.), Al Cisneros (Sleep, OM, etc.), Dale Crover (Melvins) & Scott Kelly (Neurosis). To make a long story short, the 5 cuts here are lengthy (in the 7+ minute range). Through their lumbering courses, numbers with titles like “Solar Benediction” offer morsels of each member’s specialties: Kelly’s ragged vo-kills, Wino’s “born too late” riffage, Crover’s thudding tubsmanshipt and Cisneros bottom-end psych plunder. For fans of the more experimental end of doom metal and the psychedelic extremeness, the results are palatable enough. They’re also a bit lacking in the focus of the best of any of the guy’s day jobs. An “ok” appetizer, but be ready to serve up “Punctuated Equilibrium” or “Souls At Zero” for a meal that sticks to the ribs. Under Construction

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