The Shrine – Rare Breed

The Shrine - Rare Breed

I do not get to go to concerts as often as I used to. When I first moved to my adopted hometown in my early twenties with no kids, I went to shows all the time. Life happens, and next thing you know I had not been to a show since 2011. My wife, out of the goodness of her heart, bought tickets for our sixteen-year-old son and myself to see Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity when they came to a local theater in October. I was so pumped to see Clutch and CoC, I did not pay attention to who the opening band was. As my son and I were waiting for the show to start, I noticed the openers were Venice, CA’s The Shrine. I had noticed the name on that month’s promo sheet, so I was interested as to what I would hear. About three songs into their set I emailed Cristina to request their debut album for Century Media Records, “Rare Breed,” be sent to me for review. For those of us unlucky enough to live in the US, it is not available until January 15, 2016. It has been available in Europe since October 30.

The Shrine is Josh Landau (Guitar/Vocals), Court Murphy (Bass), and Jeff Murray (Drums). The trio has been perfecting what they call “Psychedelic Violence Rock and Roll” since 2008. It is a hearty mix of Black Sabbath and Black Flag with plenty of booze, weed, and skateboards thrown in for good measure.

The songs on “Rare Breed,” as I was privy to, are made for being played live. The lightly grated voice of front man Josh Landau fits perfectly. Repeatedly, The Shrine hook you with catchy intro riffs and old school punk choruses. The other two band members back Josh’s equal parts Iommi and Nugent guitar attack with a heavy groove and perfectly placed shouts.

“Rare Breed” is on the one hand an old school classic rock album with songs like ‘What’s Left for Me’ and ‘The Vulture.’ On the other hand, it impresses with its punk attitude on tracks such as ‘Never More Than Now,’ ‘Death to Invaders,’ and ‘Acid Drop.’ Opener ‘Coming Down Quick’ starts thick before it erupts into a steady gallop. The title track is built on a seriously heavy riff that has some doom characteristics to it. ‘Savage Skulls And Nomads’ is also in this vein. The more moderate numbers are also pretty interesting. ‘Dusted And Busted’ crawls slowly into your mind. The same goes for the seven minute long ‘Space Steppin’’ – a worthy closer to the album.

With “Rare Breed,” The Shrine has managed to keep the sound of the album in the spirit of traditional, groovy, slightly doomy, old school rock music. The Shrine have no intention in making compromises. “Rare Breed” is all about what the guys wanted to play. The music is to the point with no frills. I think that is exactly what they wanted, and it fits perfectly into The Shrine’s musical journey.


  1. Coming Down Quick
  2. Death To Invaders
  3. Rare Breed
  4. Acid Drop
  5. What’s Left For Me
  6. Savage Skulls and Nomads
  7. The Vulture
  8. Never More Than Now
  9. Pull The Trigger
  10. Dusted and Busted
  11. Space Stepping

Playing Time: 41:11

Release Date: EU – October 30, 2015   US – January 15, 2016

Label: Century Media Records

Website: theshrinefuzz.tumblr

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