The Shepard-Fairey-approved The Shrine was celebrating the release of their new EP at the House of Machines on Friday night, I had the feeling it would be a night to remember, and I was not wrong.
Opening band Cat Scan is a group I have seen a ridiculous amount of times, but every time the trio brings chaos with their truly original brand of punk. Their strangely dissonant chord progressions and abrupt rhythmic changes may find their source in early punk new wave (B-52s, Talking Heads, and even Devo are often mentioned) but honestly, nothing can really prepare you for their crazy cacophonic sound. They nourish an odd mechanical sound behind harmonies and disharmonies, and this is not something easy to accomplish. They also had some powerful mosh-worthy riffs flirting with hardcore and delivered with restless and bouncy energy, then they entertained the happy crowd with playful melodies with puzzling notes in repeat, getting crazier at each second but always punctuated by bassist Quincy Larsen’s screams and their frenetic guitars.
The Paranoyds have just signed with Suicide Squeeze for their new 7-inch ‘Hungry Sam/Trade Our Sins’, which should be out this summer, and they played next with a rebellious attitude and girls-in-fury attitude. With Laila Hashemi on keyboards, Lexi Funston on guitar, Staz Lindes on bass and David Ruiz (the only guy in the band) on drums, their songs were going from slow horror surf guitars to punk-charged garage rock, while their pop sensibility was never very far from the surface. The vocals were shared by everyone in the band, like a sister-girly-chorus, and there was a real playfulness in the execution, while their constant tempo changes, from tranquil pop shoegaze to sludgy heavy parts or abrupt punk departures, helped to bring the house down with one of these crazy moshpits, turning at high speed behind my back during most of her set.
But the night belonged to the Shrine, who were headlining the night for the release of their new EP ‘Cruel World’. Right away, it was an insane head-banging party, filled with virtuoso guitar solos, crowd surfing, and fire,… and I am not only talking metaphorically! If rock ‘n’ roll used to be dangerous, the Shrine put the danger of the genre back in the pit, with a high-energy performance fueled by Joshua Landau’ s guitar skills, draining the sweat off each forehead, and preparing the room for a circus act toward the end of the show.
The music brings back all their rock-metal-punk heroes from ZZ Top to Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Black Flag but also Motörhead…. Their badass ten-feet tall (she looked incredibly tall to me) bassist Corey Parks toured with Motörhead back in the days, and Josh said he was terrified when he saw her play at the Roxy when he was only at 15. She has lost none of her out-of-this-world charisma and renegade attitude, and I must say that Josh Landau and Corey Parks formed the essence of a rock ‘n’ roll duo, a black leather Sunset strip reincarnation with a DIY punk rock spirit and mad guitar skills.
‘Here is ‘Taste of Blood’, a song I wrote after watching 3 and half seconds of TV, a mix of Kim Kardashian’s ass and war in North Korea’, told us Josh before another of their new songs. The rowdy crowd barely stopped to celebrate this epic release party with a violent mosh pit, some front row women were caressing the legs of guitarist and bassist, all genre confounded, while Josh Landau was surfing the crowd on his back, playing his guitar and piling up more guitar riffs. But this madhouse would not have been complete without another layer of danger. After filling her mouth with some fuel/alcohol, Corey Parks took a torch and blew fire in the middle of the crowd like an angry dragon! it was spectacular and dangerous, but we are talking about a woman who used to hang out with Lemmy Kilmister! It was as threatening as a sweaty dream of the wild days of rock n’ roll.
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