REVIEW: The Shrine – “Bless Off”

From the moment I started listening to The Shrine’s “Bless Off”, I knew instinctively that I was listening to it on the wrong speakers. I was listening on my laptop, but clearly, this was an album made for PA Speakers, not just anywhere, but at the skatepark. It needs to be sunny, warm, and well, frankly, California-esque to properly hear this album. There should be a lot of noise in the way of actually hearing the album; I should be hearing wheels screech from a cement pool, trucks grinding on pool coping, and the occasional cheer from a group of dudes somewhere in the background. I want to hear Dave Duncan emceeing a contest while this is playing. That’s not to say I don’t want to listen to this album. but this is skate rock, and it should be listened to appropriately.

To put it simply, this album is a shredfest in recorded form. “Bless Off” is a guitar heavy, aggressive masterpiece from start to finish. From heavy riffs to some blistering solos, this thing should be an instructional on how to destroy a guitar in a good way. You can’t help but at least start a half-hearted headbang (or at least a head nod) to tracks like the album’s title track, as well as “Worship”, and “Tripping Corpse”. There are other parts of this album that make it great, too. The drums and gang vocals don’t sound as polished as they normally would these days, giving it a very vintage feel. Normally, that would be a slight to everyone involved with the album, but for this genre, it’s perfect. It almost feels like a classic Anthrax album with a bit of an update for 2014. It’s a type of heavy that’s very unforgiving, and that’s the best way that I can describe it, I think.

Go listen to this album, and then go skateboarding. Or do both at the same time if it’s warm enough by you. You can stream it below via Bandcamp: