Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Shrinebuilder- Self-Titled

(Neurot Recordings)

Certainly, the anticipation surrounding the imminent release of the debut from this project has been building over the last few months. A collaboration featuring a veritable who’s-who of stoner/ doom/ sludge giants, Shrinebuilder consists of Scott “Wino” Weinrich, Al Cisneros, Scott Kelly, and Dale Crover. The debut full-length, simply entitled “Shrinebuilder” on Neurot Recordings, drops in October.

What’s most noteworthy, to me at least, is that the ever increasingly prolific Wino has forged yet another project, and has steered that project towards a quick release. Juggling multiple releases on different labels (“Punctuated Equilibrium” is also newly released on Southern Lord from Wino’s self-titled project) is probably quite a feat, so kudos are due to Wino and his obviously driven work ethic, along with that of his Shrinebuilder band mates.

At any rate, the promo CD sent out by Neurot Recordings is only 4/5 of the complete release, and the album definitely has an unfinished feel to it. Pretty much, the music is as you would expect; that is, a heady mix of stoner, doom, and psychedelics with a dual vocal attack from Wino and Al Cisneros, as well as contributions from the other members. Huge, thick riffs mix easily with droning psychedelics throughout the four songs presented with this promo. Add some punishing, mid-paced percussion from Crover, a sound that is, frankly, closer to Sleep than any of Wino’s recent projects, and the potential for a gigantic release that more than fulfills the promise is there.

However, I found this release to be less than what I had originally hoped for. Frankly, the songwriting sort of meanders a bit and, although the psychedelic moments are well done and evocative of classic Sleep, the harder hitting moments just don’t really compare to Om, Wino’s other recent projects, and what have you. In the end, I come away disappointed. Part of the reason may be that the album is only 4/5 of what will actually be released (I am curious to hear the unrelelased fifth track, “Science and Anger”), but “Punctuated Equilibrium” is a better album.

It’s hard to say that I cannot recommend an album featuring Wino, but that’s the case with “Shrinebuilder”.


Shrinebuilder Official MySpace

Neurot Recordings

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