Following rave reviews in the domestic press for their fourth album ‘Grindstone’, Norwegian unclassifiable improv/free collective Shining have racked up a string of highly positive reviews in the US music press. Pitchforkmedia, Allmusic.com and Cokemachineglow.com all celebrate Shining’s complex yet utterly rewarding outing.
As on their previous albums, Grindstone features a band that moves between complex riffing, cinematic soundscapes, jazz, classical and modern composition. Such diverse influences as The Mars Volta and Slayer via King Crimson and Mahavishnu Orchestra to Henry Cow, This Heat, Ornette Coleman, Ligeti and Messiaen have been cited as inspirational sources for the applauded release which is now beginning to create an international stir.
Writes Pitchforkmedia’s Brandon Stosuy in the website’s review this week:
“Shining's fourth album, Grindstone, spits the same flammable energy of 2005's out-of-left-field In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster, but with more tightly plotted, ultra-extended dynamics and a stretch of chillier, loopier atmospherics. In other words, it's a whole lot weirder than its predecessor. Last time, the hyperactive Norwegian quartet located a smoky Blue Note wrangle. That's here too, along with other signature Shining ingredients (crushing metal riffs, jazzy skronk bleats, dime-splitting time changes), but they also bring some Switched-On Bach and plenty of crystalline, near silence.
… Grindstone relies on its neighbors, gliding insistently from rock to fragile snow drift to feedbacking silly string to a rather grand anti-grand exit. It took dozens of listens to catch the refractions: The pieces within each track came together easily; the album itself proved more of a puzzle. It's refreshing to chart the geography-- the permafrost center, especially, packs a mountain of intrigue. Think of it as a palimpsest subdivided. For a long while I wasn't sure, but discovering the morse code holding this thing together has given it a plot and a shape that keeps thickening.”
Read the full review here.
Writes Cokemachineglow.com’s Mark Abraham:
“This is RIO of the highest caliber, strongly performed, well-considered, and fastidiously produced. This is a band that cares about things like correct guitar tone, modifications on drum mic placement, carefully picked synths and samples. This is a band that knows how to play their instruments, but also how to make us care. I’ve tried not to mention any other band names in this review. When In the Kingdom came out, we all stepped on each other’s tongues trying to find the correct list of bands these guys sounded like: Pantera, Sepultura, King Crimson, This Heat, Mr. Bungle, Art Bears (and with this album you can add the Boredoms and M83). But I don’t really need to do that this time around. Shining is just fucking brilliant, god-awful motor-gear promo shots and all.”
Read the full review here.
Allmusic.com’s Thom Jurek writes:
“On repeated listening to Grindstone, one cannot help but think that both Frank Zappa and Charles Mingus — especially in his later years — would have loved this orderly disorder, this apparent madness that is both wise and wry, and that lets its outrageousness become part of the aesthetic. Fantastic!”
Read the full review here.sd
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CD Releases, Press\Outside Norway