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Shit and Shine
Phase Corrected Alec Holt , May 16th, 2022 08:01

Subwoofer-testing swells and cataclysmically potent bong hits. That'll be the return of Shit and Shine then

The latest jerk in Shit and Shine’s, uh, eccentric aesthetic trajectory is pretty accurately charted by the geographic markers dotted over their last two LPs. If 2020’s Malibu Liquor Store was a trip way out West which left the mind puddling drip by drip under the intolerable Cali sunshine like the ice bucket at some hooting backwater cookout, Phase Corrected opener ‘North Atlantic’ barrels in with slamming waves of heavily distorted bass which would topple an oil rig. Vacation over.

Now back with long-term partners in piss-wringing Riot Season Records, Phase Corrected might just top their previous release for them – the pathologically unfriendly Goat Yelling Like A Man – in the meanness stakes. Not bad considering that album was so gloweringly viscous it impelled both Riot Season themselves and tQ’s own JR Moores to take shots at Melvins’ blueprint-laying strain of sludge as sounding altogether soggy by comparison.

Shit and Shine have gone this blown-out before, sure, but I don’t know that the peripheral fringes of their NOISE have ever been captured quite so well on record as here; it feels like less of that rearing fuzz has managed to slip past the mics, each fleck now faithfully documented in paradoxically hi-fi fashion. Last year’s excellent album from USA/Mexico, Clouse’s side project with King Coffey of Butthole Surfers notoriety and bassist Nate Cross, is really a closer stylistic match than anything in the Shit and Shine storehouse. But where that album is mainly composed of two grisly 10+ minute bouts, Phase Corrected unfolds a little more dynamically, with no track tickling so much as the seven minute mark – basically grindcore by Shit and Shine measures, then.

‘Plum Whiskey’ clatters about for a bit before completely razing itself with a bass riff which sounds how the ‘bwaaaaah’ foghorn from the Inception trailer would if the idea being incepted into Cillian Murphy’s head were less about dismantling his father’s multinational business than taking a cataclysmically potent bong hit. On ‘Dividrleedoth’ gasping drums crash down just about on time under the mass of some particularly subwoofer-testing swells, while ‘Kyle Devils’ ends with a timber-shiveringly distorted vocal overlay which despatches Ramleh back to day-care. ‘Burnet Road’ and closer ‘Slough by-Pass’, on the other hand, feature more traditionally rock-out guitar squeals clawing desperately at the walls from somewhere within their sludge prison, Sunn 0)))-style.

Perhaps there’s a risk that Clouse aligns himself with sneering Betjemanian schools of thought re: Slough in tacking its name to one of a suite of songs which would serve admirably as an audio version of the Book of Revelations. But if nearly two decades of Shit and Shine records have demonstrated anything, it’s that ‘apocalyptic’, far from an insult, is their idea of a good time. Mine too, as it turns out.