Wino Wednesday: Shrinebuilder, “We Let the Hell Come” Live at Scion Rock Fest 2010

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 17th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

The track “We Let the Hell Come” would wind up as one of the most memorable songs on Scott Kelly‘s 2012 Scott Kelly and the Road Home album, The Forgiven Ghost in Me. Interpreted with subtle, still-minimalist interplay of electric and acoustic guitar and Kelly‘s mournful, gravel-throated wonderings, it was a highlight of the record (review here), engaging with a sweet, sad melody and the persistent strum of Kelly‘s strings. Little in that version would link “We Let the Hell Come” to its prior interpretation — the song having been performed over two years earlier live by Shrinebuilder.

At the very start of the video below, filmed at Skully’s in Columbus, Ohio, as part of the 2010 Scion Rock Fest – Shrinebuilder headlined that venue for the night; YOB, Pelican, Acrassicauda and others also played — the band says that “We Let the Hell Come” will be on the next record. It may well still be, but more than three years later, a follow-up to Shrinebuilder‘s 2009 self-titled debut (review here) has yet to surface, and with the band’s members — Kelly (also in Neurosis), Scott “Wino” Weinrich (also in The Obsessed and Saint Vitus at this point, as well as putting out solo material), Dale Crover (the Melvins) and Al Cisneros (Sleep and Om) — busy with their respective main outfits, it may be that Shrinebuilder was a one-time planetary alignment that we won’t be fortunate enough to see again.

If that’s the case, all the better that clips like this one of “We Let the Hell Come” are out there — the song also showed up on Shrinebuilder‘s Live in Europe 2010 vinyl, which I regret not buying when I had the chance — to give a sampling of what might’ve been or, who knows, might still be when and if there’s a second Shrinebuilder outing. This video was filmed by Chris Kimbrough and I hope you enjoy and have an excellent Wino Wednesday:

Shrinebuilder, “We Let the Hell Come” Live at Scion Rock Fest 2010

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Wino Wednesday: Shrinebuilder Covers Creedence Clearwater Revival in Brooklyn, April 16, 2010

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 3rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

I guess this show and the circumstances surrounding have become something of a tale to tell. In 2010, the supergroup Shrinebuilder were en route to play Roadburn and tour Europe to promote their self-titled debut and only album to date. Coming from the Western Seaboard, where all the members of the band — Scott Kelly and Wino on guitar/vocals, Al Cisneros on bass and Dale Crover on drums — were located, they got as far as New York before their flight was grounded like so many others at the time.

Not to be completely undone by that volcano — whose mere name, Eyjafjallajökull, strikes syllabic terror into the hearts of pronunciation guides everywhere — Shrinebuilder booked themselves a last-minute gig at Brooklyn’s Club Europa. While they were in town, they also recorded a session with Andrew Schneider for Coextinction Recordings that’s been featured here before. They had been to New York for a show about a month before and of course around the time the album came out as well in 2009 (review here), but as it was such a bizarre situation, and as they haven’t been back since, the Europa show has taken on a mystical kind of quality — not that anything these guys did wouldn’t already have had one.

Shrinebuilder did finally get to Europe, and they played Roadburn in 2011 as not the only act on the bill to be carried over from the year before. A self-released Live in Europe 2010 vinyl commemorated the experience, but since they basically started out as a headlining act because of the members’ pedigree in Neurosis, Sleep, Saint Vitus (etc.) and the Melvins, those earlier Shrinebuilder shows featured a couple covers, and on this one from Brooklyn of Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Effigy,” Crover and Wino show a classic rocking side of Shrinebuilder that was unlike anything else they did.

Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Shrinebuilder, “Effigy” at Europa, Brooklyn 04.16.10

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Wino Wednesday: Shrinebuilder’s Shrinebuilder (Yes, all of it)

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 10th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

Next Saturday, Oct. 20, will mark three full years since Shrinebuilder‘s self-titled debut was released on Neurot. The most super of supergroups unleashed five tracks and just under 40 minutes of exploration, at times devastatingly heavy, at times contemplatively ambient, but always in motion and never predictable. Three years later, I still don’t think I have a grip on all of it — though I did a review when it came out — and even though the status of the band is unclear at this point, I’m not sure more time is going to help.

If you have to be outclassed, though, Shrinebuilder is the cast to do it. I’ll run down the list because it’s fun: Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Scott “Wino” Weinrich (The Obsessed, this feature, etc.), Al Cisneros (Sleep, Om) and Dale Crover (the Melvins), all contributing to the complex, driving psychedelic heaviness that successfully blended the approaches of its members. I spent a year in fanboy nerd-out mode waiting for it, and when it came, was certain my days were well spent.

I’ve griped about the longevity of Shrinebuilder‘s Shrinebuilder before, that I didn’t go back to it after 2009 and so forth, and I suppose that’s true, though I think it’s more on me than the album. In any case, with zero prospects of a follow-up anytime soon, I figure the full-length is ripe for a revisit, and if you’re gonna listen to a record with Wino on it, Wednesday’s the day.

Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

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Wino Wednesday: Pro-Shot Footage of Shrinebuilder Live in Belgium from 2010

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 23rd, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

Of all the Wino-type excellence 2012 has so far wrought — be that in the form of the collaboration with Conny Ochs or the reunion of The Obsessed at Roadburn — news on the Shrinebuilder front has been curiously sparse. I guess the dudes involved are busy with their main projects, whether it’s Wino with Saint Vitus and his sundry other outfits, Scott Kelly with Neurosis, Al Cisneros with Om and Sleep, or Dale Crover with the Melvins, but I had thought the follow up to their 2009 self-titled would be along this year, and it seems like there would’ve been some word by now if that was going to be the case.

Maybe it’s for the best, since I don’t know if I’d trade the output and shows of all those bands for the prospect of new Shrinebuilder anyway, but whenever the second album from this underground megagroup arrives, it’ll be interesting to hear how or if they build at all on the direction they seemed to be taking with the debut. They were playing new material as early as their European tour in 2010, delayed as much of life was that spring by volcanic activity in Iceland. That tour resulted in the Live in Europe 2010 live album last year, but for a band of this magnitude, it’s hard not to want a new studio offering as soon as possible.

Lurking my way around the TubesofYou, I stumbled on this pro-shot, multi-angle clip of the new songs “Nagas 1 & 2″ coupled with “Pyramid of the Moon,” filmed in Belgium at De Kreun in Kortrijk. Credit where it’s due, apparently the crew behind the cameras was 4×4 TV. My only regret is that it wasn’t uploaded in HD, but I don’t even remember if you could do that two years ago. One more reason Shrinebuilder needs to get out there again.

So yeah, here’s 21 minutes solid of ritualistic psych groove. Happy Wino Wednesday:

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Wino Wednesday: Shrinebuilder, “The Science of Anger” (Coextinction Version)

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 9th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

Surprise! It's Wino Wednesday!It is a supergroup to define a generation of heavy. Guitarists Scott “Wino” Weinrich and Scott Kelly (Neurosis), bassist Al Cisneros (Sleep, Om) and drummer Dale Crover (the Melvins). I remember interviewing Kelly on the occasion of the last Neurosis record and that being the first time I’d heard of the project or anything about who was involved. My reaction was fanboy honest: “Holy shit, dude.” His was too: “I know, man.”

The assemblage of these mega-influential figures resulted in a 2009 self-titled full-length, released on Neurot, and subsequent bits of touring and shows. While traveling en route to Roadburn in 2010, Shrinebuilder were held up in New York due to closed European airspace from Icelandic volcanic ash. They wound up playing a gig in the city that night, and, in addition to catching a ballgame and sundry other “we’re here anyway”-type activities, re-recorded their album’s closer “The Science of Anger.”

This new version of the song, reworked to match how they were performing it live, was released as a digital single via Coextinction Recordings. It’s available for a $2.99 download here and is all the more special for the bizarre circumstances that led to its creation. As we stand on the hopeful precipice of a new Shrinebuilder outing in 2012, I can think of no better way to celebrate this Wino Wednesday than their most cohesive outing yet.

Now bear witness as Wino and Scott Kelly turn feedback into your gods:

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Live Review: Scott Kelly, Wino and Man’s Gin in NYC, 02.12.11

Posted in Reviews on February 14th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

If it wasn’t enough that it was The Patient Mrs.‘ birthday and I still got to go to the show, I knew walking into The Mercury Lounge that it was going to be a good night because the dude at the door said, “Hey man, I dig your beard.” Had it been anyone else playing that night, I might have just cut my losses and gone home right then, opened up my diary (or WordPress) and written, “Today was a good day.” Instead I celebrated with an $8 Sierra Nevada.

I figured out the last time I was at the Mercury Lounge was a couple years back to see Dax Riggs, and though I expected my skin to be burned off in hipster hell, it wasn’t actually that bad. Well, maybe it was, but the last acoustic show I went to was Six Organs of Admittance, and the volume of that crowd was so loud it was offensive, and that definitely wasn’t the case here. I don’t care how ironic your flannel is so long as you’re there for the music and you’re not a dick about it.

Opening the show was Hunter Hunt-Hendrix of black metallers Liturgy doing a solo performance that turned out to be him, a looper, some vocal effects, and nothing else. His voice mimicked strings and he set up elaborate choruses of himself over the course of a couple separate pieces. It was brave, but probably not something that should be done for more than 10 minutes at a stretch, as after that the “What the hell am I doing here?” impulse kicked in and I went to the bar out front for another drink and to wait for Man’s Gin. People were in and out from the back room and I could hear just fine in case he, you know, took out a guitar or something. Nope. Semi-melodic moaning all the way.

The plan for the night was Man’s Gin, then Wino, then Scott Kelly, then Wino and Scott Kelly together, and it was a good plan by me. I dug Man’s Gin‘s Smiling Dogs record and was psyched to see the Erik Wunder-fronted outfit in their full-band incarnation after when I last caught them at Lit Lounge and it was just Wunder and standup-bassist Josh Lozano with percussion behind. Fade Kainer (Inswarm, Batillus) handled drums and Scott Edward guitar, and they were loose, but sounded good all the same.

They got a mixed reaction from the crowd, but it seemed more positive than ambivalent, which translates to triumph in Manhattan. Everyone in attendance who was conscious of their surroundings during the grunge era probably had a better idea of what they were going for than those who weren’t, whatever that says. Highlight of the set was the Neurosis-style drum jam at the end and “Doggamn.” Still waiting for them to do “The Ballad of Jimmy Sturgis” live.

It was a party when Wino took the stage, and that spirit continued through his set, numerous whoops and hollers coming from the crowd. Wino, up there by himself with just an acoustic guitar, couldn’t help but rip into a fuzzed-out solo about halfway in, but aside from playing them a bit faster (as he acknowledged he had a tendency to do in our interview), he was loyal to the versions of the songs that appear on his Adrift album. The split 7″ single he shares with Scott Kelly was mentioned as being for sale for just $5 — end of tour blowout price — and it seemed only proper to pick one up.

He covered Townes Van Zandt, as would Kelly when he took the stage later, but the highlight of Wino‘s set was probably “I Don’t Care,” which he prefaced with a story about being 15 and getting locked up in a Maryland juvenile detention center and writing the song then. It was one of my least favorite tracks on Adrift, but the performance live and the context made it a high point of the evening. I actually saw people dance. It happened.

The thing about Wino is that, even if he’s doing something else (i.e. playing acoustic), he’s a classic rock songwriter, and he can’t help but rock out. He brought the crowd along with him for the trip, and when Scott Kelly took the stage later, it was clear that, despite their apparent friendship and cohabitation in the supergroup Shrinebuilder, they’re two very different performers.

Scott Kelly plays s-l-o-w. He’s really, really good at it. The room — apart from one dude who decided it would be a good idea to accompany Kelly‘s guitar by banging on a cinderblock and eventually brought the show to a screeching halt — was dead quiet. So much so that Kelly remarked approvingly on it more than once (we did good!) as he went through his set of morose, low-key but still highly emotive songs. He covered his half of the split with Wino, taking three tries to get through the song because of the aforementioned cinderblock jackass, and by the time his version of “Tecumseh Valley” was done, my arrived-at conclusion of the evening became, “Well, I guess it’s time to buy a Townes Van Zandt record.” He made a pretty convincing argument.

I had been hoping for “Remember Me,” which originally appeared on Blood and Time‘s At the Foot of the Garden before Kelly re-recorded it for his last solo album, the brilliant The Wake. That was a no dice, but the new Shrinebuilder song Kelly brought Wino on stage to play, and the jam that ensued from there, was more than enough to make up for anything lacking. The crowd had thinned some by the time they were done, but not much, and those who were there were entranced by what they were watching. Wino took leads (higher in the mix, or maybe it was where I was standing) while Kelly played rhythms, and each guitarist seemed to enjoy most of all the chance to be on stage with the other. It was something I was glad to have witnessed when it was over.

Something I was less glad about was having lost the ticket from coatcheck. Whoops. It really is a wonder I’m not divorced by now. The Patient Mrs. and I stood, describing the contents of her coat pockets to the heavy-sighs of the girl at the rack, and eventually, we got her jacket and left. I don’t know if it was her best birthday ever, and I don’t know if it’s the only time I’m ever going to get to see Wino and Scott Kelly perform together in this fashion (they looked to be having a good enough time that I wouldn’t be surprised if they did it again at some point), but man, if ever there was a time I was happy to be in New York on a Saturday night, this was it.

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Interview: Wino Talks About Signing to Volcom, Going Acoustic, Savoy Brown, Pentagram, Spirit Caravan, New Shrinebuilder, Saint Vitus and Much More

Posted in Features on February 3rd, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

He might be the single most pivotal figure in American doom. Scott “Wino” Weinrich, in a career that’s lasted more than 30 years and is only showing signs of speeding up, has assembled the greatest pedigree in heavy music that doesn’t belong to someone with the last name Iommi. From his years in outfits The Obsessed and Saint Vitus to his ongoing involvement with the supergroup Shrinebuilder, Wino has left a stamp on the genre that — try as many might — simply cannot be duplicated.

And yet, it’s not his legacy that he wants to talk about. In our interview last week, there was some discussion of the “old days,” of course, but it was more about the work of others with whom he’s played, or been friends with — and what was coming next — that really seemed to be what was driving him most. The love of the music. What the hell other reason could there be? There’s no glamor in it. Who the hell cares if a bunch of bearded dudes say, “Cool riffs, bro?” If you don’t love Heavy, you go do something else. You certainly don’t make it your life’s work.

Next month, Volcom Entertainment will release the LP version of Wino‘s first solo acoustic album, Adrift (review here; CD available on Exile on Mainstream), and if you’re unfamiliar with the man’s doings in any of the above bands, or Shine/Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand, Dave Grohl‘s Probot, Victor Griffin‘s Place of Skulls or his innumerable guest spots and contributions to others, let it say something that after 30 years, he’s still pushing himself into new territories.

There was a lot to talk about and limited time, but in the Q&A below, Wino discusses the experience of writing and recording Adrift following the death of bassist Jon Blank of the Wino band (also featuring drummer Jean-Paul Gaster of Clutch), the origins of his new, two-guitar outfit, Premonition, where some of the drive to keep starting over comes from, his deep and abiding respect for his fellow players, the status of the Spirit Caravan reunion that bassist Dave Sherman alluded to some while back on this site, and much more.

It was a very conversational interview, as you can see for yourself after the jump. Please enjoy.

Read more »

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Wino and Scott Kelly Announce Acoustic Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 9th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster

The only thing I don’t like about Wino and Scott Kelly touring together performing solo acoustic sets (as opposed to when they tour together as part of the same band in Shrinebuilder) is that they’re playing New York on The Patient Mrs.‘ birthday. And 2011′s a big one. Curse you, satisfying and longstanding loving relationship!

But just because I can’t nerd out doesn’t mean you can’t. This came down the wire the other day, so it might be old news by now, but here’s the US release info for Wino‘s acoustic album, Adrift, and the tour dates:

Answering the call from his friends and supporters to record an acoustic solo album following the sudden and tragic passing of friend and bandmate Jon Blank, who appeared on Wino‘s Punctuated Equilibrium album in 2009, Scott “Wino” Weinrich set to work on his most personal and powerful recording to date. Adrift is a revealing alternative view of this underground legend’s personality and history. Stripped down to the bare minimum — just his voice and his guitar — the songs on Adrift follow classic American songwriting ideals offering a compelling mixture of emotion and storytelling.

Adrift Track Listing:
01. Adrift
02. I Don’t Care
03. Hold on Love
04. Mala Suerte
05. Old and Alone
06. Iron Horse/Born to Lose
07. Suzanes Song
08. DBear
09. Whatever
10. Shot in the Head
11. O.B.E.
12. Green Speed

Adrift is set for official release on respected German label Exile on Mainstream Records March 8th, 2011, in North America, the label now distributed domestically by E1 Entertainment. A limited edition vinyl version of the album featuring extended liner notes and more is to be released in the US on January 18th by Volcom Entertainment.

Wino will hit the road Stateside this February on a short acoustic tour, rocking alongside longtime friend, and also Shrinebuilder bandmate, Scott Kelly (Neurosis). The tour will be in support of the upcoming split 7″ between Wino and Kelly, to be released early in the year by Volcom, as well as the Adrift album. Sponsored by BrooklynVegan, the tour will venture through California, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland and New York, showcasing both legendary artists each in solo, acoustic mode.

Wino/Scott Kelly February 2011 Tour:

02/05 Viper Room, Hollywood CA
02/07 Casbah, San Diego CA
02/08 Emo’s, Austin TX
02/09 Abbey Pub, Chicago IL
02/10 Great Scott, Allston MA
02/11 Sonar, Baltimore MD
02/12 Mercury Lounge, New York NY

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The Top 10 of 2009 Revisited

Posted in Features on September 22nd, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster

As 2010 makes ready to jump into the double-digit months, it occurred to me the other day to go back and take a look at my Top 10 of 2009. I remembered a few of the albums that rated off the top of my head, if not the order they were put in, but I thought it might be fun to look through the list and see where I stand on the albums 10 months later. Let’s check it out:

1. YOB, The Great Cessation (Profound Lore)
Yup, this is still the best album that came out last year. Check.

2. Los Natas, Nuevo Orden de la Libertad (Small Stone)
Also still rules. Like YOB, I keep this one on me almost all the time.

3. Masters of Reality, Pine/Cross Dover (Brownhouse)
I think I was just really happy Chris Goss put a new album out, although I’ve started to listen to it again now that it’s getting a domestic US release and there are a couple really quality tracks.

4. Truckfighters, Mania (Fuzzorama)
Every time I listen to this album, I’m reminded of how much I dig it. It’s in the same CD wallet as YOB and Los Natas, but I don’t reach for it as much.

5. Shrinebuilder, Shrinebuilder (Neurot)
I hardly ever listen to this anymore, but killer album, killer performances, killer personnel. Can’t wait to get swept up in the hype for the next one, then do the same thing.

6. Crippled Black Phoenix, The Resurrectionists/Night Raider (Invada)
I like the art so much for this album, I don’t even touch it because I’m afraid of screwing it up or leaving fingerprints. It’s gathering dust on my shelf. Pretty dust though, so that’s alright.

7. Wino, Punctuated Equilibrium (Southern Lord)
Am I the only one who thinks maybe Wino meant “punctured” instead of “punctuated?” I just happen to be wearing my t-shirt of the album cover today, so I guess it still curries favor. “Smiling Road” rules.

8. Yawning Sons, Ceremony to the Sunset (Lexicon Devil)
This one still gets listened to regularly, is in that CD wallet. If I was making this list today, it might be number three.

9. Om, God is Good (Drag City)
Cool album, but I never put it on anymore. Maybe I will now.

10. Them Crooked Vultures, Them Crooked Vultures (Interscope)
Josh Homme could take a dump on my brand new cupcake and I’d still have a man-crush on him, so this one was bound to show up. Needless to say, I went back to the first couple Queens of the Stone Age albums shortly thereafter.

If I had the list to do over, I’d put Blood by Snail on it, and maybe Church of Misery‘s Houses of the Unholy, which has kept its appeal pretty well. Other than that, I stand by most of the picks above. Let me know if there’s something I missed out on or anything you can think of that you never returned to once January hit.

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More Shrinebuilder Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 26th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster

If you asked, they probably wouldn’t tell you so — in fact, they’d probably say something along the lines of, “Who?” — but I think we all know Shrinebuilder‘s newly-scheduled NYC date was booked with me in mind. So thanks guys, for that. Could’ve been in Jersey, but it’s fine, I’ll make the drive. I appreciate the effort.

In addition to this show at NYU and their West Coast shows (some with Harvestman) and their Roadburn appearance, they’ll also be at the Scion Rock Fest on March 13. Busy, busy, busy. Here’s the latest tour update:

These two newly announced Shrinebuilder dates fall directly after the previously announced West Coast Neurot Recordings tour, also featuring labelmates A Storm of Light and with special appearances from Harvestman at three Bay Area shows. Shrinebuilder will also perform at this year’s Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Holland alongside Thorr’s Hammer, Goatsnake, Enslaved, Eyehategod, Eagle Twin, Church of Misery and more.

Shrinebuilder live appearances:
3/02/2010 The CasbahSan Diego, CA
3/03/2010 EchoLos Angeles, CA
3/04/2010 EchoLos Angeles, CA
3/05/2010 The Voodoo LoungeSan Jose, CA w/ Harvestman, Brain Oil
3/06/2010 Oakland MetroOakland, CA w/ Harvestman, Laudanum
3/07/2010 The IndependentSan Francisco, CA w/ Harvestman
3/09/2010 Neumo’sSeattle, WA
3/11/2010 E+L Auditorium @ New York UniversityNew York, NY
3/13/2010 Scion Rock FestColumbus, OH
4/17/2010 Roadburn FestivalTilburg, Holland

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Shrinebuilder Head West

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 13th, 2010 by H.P. Taskmaster

Actually, they’re from the west, so it’s more like they’re heading to where they already are. Whatever. They announced live dates, alright? There’s only so many ways I can say it.

Geez. Some people.

Something, something, something PR wire… something, something, complete.

Neurot Recordings is proud to announce the second wave of live Shrinebuilder appearances, this time alongside labelmates A Storm of Light, taking place early this March. This West Coast mini-tour features as an added bonus, Harvestman — the solo act of Steve Von Till (Neurosis) – to serve as main support on the Bay Area shows on March 5th, 6th and 7th.

3/02/2010 The CasbahSan Diego, CA
3/03/2010 EchoLos Angeles, CA
3/04/2010 EchoLos Angeles, CA
3/05/2010 The Voodoo LoungeSan Jose, CA w/ Harvestman, Brain Oil
3/06/2010 Oakland MetroOakland, CA w/ Harvestman, Laudanum
3/07/2010 The IndependentSan Francisco, CA w/ Harvestman
3/09/2010 Neumo’sSeattle, WA

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The Top 10 of 2009: Number Five…

Posted in Features on December 21st, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

I would totally live in that shrine. Tourists could come and I would show them around. "And this is where I sweep the floors, and I pee over here, and this is where Wino plays a killer riff, and this is the kitchenette," etc.I’m not sure there’s much left to say about the self-titled debut from Shrinebuilder, the much-hyped supergroup featuring Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Scott “Wino” Weinrich (Wino, etc.), Dale Crover (Melvins) and Al Cisneros (Om). The first time I heard about the band was when I interviewed Kelly about the last Neurosis album. He said, “Yeah, I’m gonna be in a band with Wino and the dudes from Om” — at the time, Chris Hakius had yet to be replaced in Om by Emil Amos and in Shrinebuilder by Crover. My response was a stunned, “Dude.” Kelly said, “Yeah, I know,” and we had a good laugh.

That “dude” has pretty much been my feeling on Shrinebuilder the whole way through. Before it came out, it was more or less universally agreed that it was going to rule, and when Neurot put it out on Oct. 20, it ruled. Simple as that. One has to wonder what the second album will be like (because, as Cisneros confirmed in our interview, there will be a follow-up), since on these five songs it’s relatively easy to discern who wrote which part. You’d have to figure there will be a more solidified sound going forward, with the first album out of the way.

But that’s speculation for another time. For now, Shrinebuilder‘s Shrinebuilder proved a doom milestone in 2009. A dream lineup executing a collection of killer songs with poise and precision. To slather it with hyperbolic appreciation at this point seems excessive, but suffice it to say I’m really, really glad this record came out this year and it’s been a source of continued enjoyment since its release. I imagine I’ll be returning to it for some time to come.

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Shrinebuilder Interview: Al Cisneros Wraps up Tour; Confirms Sleep US Reunion Dates for 2010

Posted in Features on November 19th, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

Hell yeah. (Photo by Julie Patterson)The necessity of getting Shrinebuilder bassist Al Cisneros on the phone made itself known before his band’s show Sunday night in Manhattan was even over. In particular, a discussion with him seemed warranted because, of all the players on the stage at Le Poisson Rouge with him, Scott Kelly of Neurosis, Scott “Wino” Weinrich and MelvinsDale Crover, Cisneros was in the middle, and when he took the mic at the end of the set for his part in “Pyramid of the Moon,” the night was transformed into something epic and a wave of energy coursed through the crowd. It was kinetic.

Our conversation was short, but informative. Cisneros, fresh back in California from a few days spent in Austin, TX, following the last of the five shows on Shrinebuilder‘s run, confirmed that writing has already begun for a fifth Om record and a second Shrinebuilder, that Shrinebuilder will play the 2010 Scion Rock Fest and that the legendary trio Sleep, in which he was vocalist and bassist with Matt Pike (High on Fire) on guitar and Chris Hakius on drums, will indeed be playing in the US September of next year.

And even though I just told you all of that, it’s still worth reading, after the jump, as always. Enjoy.

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Live Review: Shrinebuilder and Rwake in NYC, 11.15.09

Posted in Reviews on November 16th, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

This is how it went.As difficult as it was last night to separate the individual stage personae of the four members of Shrinebuilder from their respective legacies, equally troubling now is how to get through this review of the show at Le Poisson Rouge without devolving into meaningless hyperbole. How does one commune with gods?

Sunday night shows are a sticky proposition always, no matter who it is. The spectre of the coming week looms large and by four in the afternoon, there’s at least part of me that is ready to say, “Screw it,” watch The Simpsons in my pajamas and make that the evening’s main event. Nonetheless, these people being who they are and the club being in Manhattan instead of Brooklyn – it could just as easily have been at Europa; half of Shrinebuilder has played there in the last month with other bands (Wino with Saint Vitus and Al Cisneros with Om) — it was the proverbial offer I couldn’t refuse.

Nice poster.Liturgy, who are (and I quote) “a black metal band from Brooklyn,” opened. I caught their last song and a half after walking in with my sandals and being greeted by the guy at the door who said, “I see you brought your moshing shoes.” Har. Sure enough, Liturgy were a black metal band from Brooklyn. Skinny hipster dudes with a Mayhem influence. There you go.

Next up was Rwake, who more and more are looking like pros on stage. Vocalist CT had hand motions throughout as he grooved on the riffs that made him look like a doom mime, but it was cool anyway. Only trouble with their set was the sound. It was pretty clear the sound guy was working for Shrinebuilder and the soundcheck was geared toward them, since Rwake‘s vocals, both those of CT, who is bravely trying to inject more clean singing into his approach, and of B, came through completely dry and loading with a searing feedback for the duration. Was a bummer. They played a lot of new songs, though, and especially the last of the bunch was a highlight. Relapse has their next record listed as “TBA 2010,” but whenever it lands, chances are it’ll be worth checking out. Chances also are that Sanford Parker‘s name will be on it somewhere, so you know how that goes.

If you find yourself for some reason or other at Le Poisson Rouge, try the Red Fish house beer. I did a few times over, but not so much as to lose any real lucidity. I wanted a clear head for when Shrinebuilder came on, if only so I could remember the show to review it later. The venue was packed by then, but there was still some room to exist by the bar, so I installed myself there and found a spot toward stage right where I could see Scott Kelly, Al Cisneros and Wino as though they were in a line, occasionally catching a glimpse of Dale Crover‘s face as well, but mostly seeing his hands work the drums.

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Frydee Shrinebuilder

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 13th, 2009 by H.P. Taskmaster

As if I wasn’t stoked enough for the Shrinebuilder show on Sunday in NYC, some brilliant Californian has posted clips of last night’s show in Los Braingeles on the YuberTous. Fantastic. Apparently at some point they also covered Joy Division. Of course they did.

If you’re going to be at Le Poisson Rouge Sunday night, be sure to look for me. I’ll be the fat guy with long hair and a beard in a black t-shirt and jeans. Real standout in the crowd, ha ha.

Here’s “Science of Anger”:

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