Dusted Reviews

Shit and Shine - Cherry / Küss Mich, Meine Liebe

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Shit and Shine

Album: Cherry / Küss Mich, Meine Liebe

Label: Load

Review date: Jun. 26, 2008

Though Shit and Shine have been assaulting audiences with their unique take on barely controlled, forcefully percussive, and endlessly repetitive stoner-skronk for the better part of a few years, they’re far from a known entity even in their home country of England. With a lineup that often balloons to encompass as many as five drummers/percussionists at any one time, the records they’ve unloaded on the public thus far betray not only a constantly fluctuating lineup, but also the different approaches to brute force hostility a variable membership like theirs necessarily entails.

As far as recorded artifacts go, Shit and Shine albums capably map out two opposing poles. The briefer pieces on display are hyperkinetic, tightly edited, and ultra-compressed bursts of shock and awe, pirouetting neatly in between taut blasts of hiccupping power electronics and supped up grindcore. The band’s best work, however, almost always adheres to the same self-created tenets of maximal minimalism––bare, basic elements stretched just beyond most listener’s ability to tolerate their endless repetitions, pulled away from any potentially academic leanings with a fondness for sludge and levels set perilously close to clipping.

Both sides of this coin are displayed all throughout Shit and Shine’s latest pair of recordings, one a CD reissue of a vinyl-only set named Cherry, and the other, Küss Mich, Meine Liebe, a wholly new set for obvious aesthetic kinfolk Load. While it might be expected that these two releases present nothing more than extended treatises on the gristly sounds this British crew have come to espouse throughout their existence, each album presents subtle variations in form that make getting a firm grasp on Shit and Shine that much more difficult.

Beginning with the echoing strains of a child’s voice, Cherry opens itself up on a frustrating note, spending the whole of “Am I a Nice Guy?” dwelling on the story of a pretty bland interaction between a man out for a walk and a homeless guy he encounters. From there, the band works out affections for circular rhythms and spiraling guitars on “Honestly Don’t,” and explores bizarre funk terrain on “Charm and Counter Charm.” Elsewhere, the pummeling pneumatic drills of “Cigarette Sequence” display a charm all their own, while closer “The Rabbit Song” spends its twenty-minutes reveling in what Shit and Shine do best––long form riffs and pounding, queasily repetitive drums. Strangely, though, most of these tracks are held in check by an anemic mix, stunting any power the disc could have, instead amplifying the negative aspects of its intentional disjointedness. Suffice to say, the DVD that comes packaged with Cherry is perhaps the best thing about this set.

Whether intentionally or not, Küss Mich, Meine Liebe addresses all of Cherry’s shortcomings, thus turning in an album that plays only to Shit and Shine’s strengths. Nowhere is this better exemplified than on “Biggest Cock in Christendom,” the nearly sixteen minute album opener. Here a fuzzy rhythm gets looped, peaking slightly more and with each repetition. Grim and distorted all throughout, tracks like “The Germans Call It Swimming Head” work similar patterns, only this time devoting more of the aural landscape to the steady encroachment of a rusty, metallic drone. And though the same predilection for drab spoken word rears it’s ugly head again late in the disc, that misstep is easily quelled by the staggering “Toilet Door Tits,” a rough-hewn stomper whose junk shop percussion and buzzing electronics sound like they were recorded on a smashed up Dictaphone. More than just your average batch of noise-niks hellbent on creating monochromatic din, Shit and Shine are one group that’s more than willing to test and and destroy all boundaries, often for better and worse.

By Michael Crumsho

Read More

View all articles by Michael Crumsho

Find out more about Load

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.