December 11th, 2009 | Album reviews


Stream: Shrinebuilder – “Solar Benediction”


(from the self-titled release out now on Neurot Recordings)

It was a sad day for quality children’s programming when Sesame Street went off the air.  But it was an even sadder day for rock and roll, because the suddenly unemployed Cookie Monster, his judgment no doubt clouded by obscene amounts of sugar, decided to reinvent himself as a heavy metal singer.  Man, I hate that guy’s singing. The little furry dude has pretty much ruined metal for me.

Take, for example, this debut album by Shrinebuilder, which is some kinda stoner rock/doom metal/whatever-you-call-it super group featuring Scott “Wino” Weinrich (St. Vitus, The Obsessed), Al Cisneros (Om, Sleep), Dale Crover (Melvins) and Scott Kelly (Neurosis).  Now, before I start with the nitpicking, let me clarify that I mostly love this record. It makes me think about all the stuff good metal makes you think about: ancient ruins, sacrificial rites, barbarian hordes charging across the wasteland astride prehistoric beasts . . . you get the idea.  This would sound perfect whilst driving through the desert in a primer-painted van with a druid airbrushed on the side—at least, it would if it weren’t for that goddamned muppet.  All four Shrinebuilders sing at one point or another, and maybe three out of four of their vocals consist of well-stoned, Ozzy-on-Robitussin mumblings that complement the droney guitars and caveman drums really well.  But then it’s all “RRRRAAAAAAARRRRHHHHGGGG!!!!!  COOOOOOOKIEEEE!!!”  And I have to turn it down until the stoney goodness comes back.

-Anne Frankenstein