The Shrine

Bless Off

Tee Pee

Street: 03.11

The Shrine = Fu Manchu + Early Man + Thin Lizzy

I’ve kept The Shrine at arm’s length for some time, mostly because I get annoyed when 16-year-old nu-metallers-turned-skaters try to “educate” me on Sabbath (my first intro to this band), but also because I’m a huge, gutless jerk who doesn’t get into stuff unless he thinks HE discovered it first. My loss? Bless Off comes off more confident than Primitive Blast, owed in no small part to the superb guitar work (pealing solos in “On the Grind”) and the slow-burning, anthemic churn of tracks like “The Duke” (think Fu Manchu’s “Saturn III” without the bitchin’ solo) and the KISS-esque cocksureness of aptly titled opener “Destroyers.” I dig it, sure—power trio rock that seems to be geared toward skaters and shit, and I can’t complain about the ’70s-rock clichés either. Are the punks bummed on this? God, let’s hope so. –Dylan Chadwick