The Shining @ By:Larm music event – live review

The Shining
By:Larm music event
Feb 2013

The Shining don’t fuck about.

Could this be the best live rock band in the world right now?

They are certainly the tightest. The Shining cross a myriad of cutting edge styles and create a fierce and empowering rock music. They play like a machine and incorporate a mind boggling amount of styles into their assault.

You can hear down the line hardcore, a smudge of rock n roll, the power of metal, a whiff of the black metal stuff and a dollop of free jazz. The songs are packed with time changes, clever rhythms and powerful drumming that makes their deceptively complex assault sound simple and mosh pit friendly. They then add a free form jazz of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman style skronk jazz sax into the mix just to make the whole thing even more mind blowing. Frontman Jorgen Monkeby switches from his guitar to the sax at key parts in songs for a freakout free jazz breakdown on top of the raging guitars just like Iggy’s holy Stooges did all those years ago.

It makes for a glorious and hypnotic racket and makes them sound like no other band on the planet, for sure there are traces of other high IQ guitar mangers like Shellac and Jesus Lizard, Zu with the avante rock sensibility of other frontier groups like King Crimson, No Means No and anyone who breaks the boundaries. The Shining are operating on the rock side of the equation whilst taking the free jazz ethic of their earlier incarnation from 1996 when they formed as a jazz band before morphing into the tightest and hardest rock band but with a twitching, free jazz heart.

They are also fantastically intense and deliver their music with that kind of single minded intent that made a prime time Fugazi so addictive. They also take chances – tonight they play a packed show case gig to 1000 people in Oslo and instead of coasting on the hits or delving into their recent fifth album, the accalimed Blackjazz decide to play the whole of the new album in order before playing one old song and leaving the venue breathless with excitement.

The new album that they tear through tonight already sounds like the one that will see them into the mainstream, the amount of detail and intelligence in the songs is mind blowing and the raw power of the delivery is astonishing. Like the Refused a decade before this could be the next Scandinavian reshaping the rock sound with yet another brilliantly innovative group who know no boundaries but also how to rock at the same time.

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