The Obelisk is currently streaming “Machina,” the latest single from Asheville, North Carolina heavy rock unit, SHUN. The track comes off the band’s self-titled debut set for release June 4th via Small Stone Records. The record includes guest appearances by Mark Morton (Lamb Of God) and J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Government Issue).
A name inspired by a Bruce Lee quote: “Adapt what is useful, reject [shun] what is useless, and add what is specifically your own,” SHUN is guitarist/vocalist Matt Whitehead, guitarist/backing vocalist Scott Brandon, bassist Jeff Baucom, and drummer Rob Elzey. Astute Small Stone loyalists will recognize Whitehead from his work in Throttlerod. He’s not alone in pedigree. Brandon has spent most of his life as a working musician, producer, and DJ in Detroit, and Ann Arbor, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois. Baucom, a veteran musician in his own right, played with Whitehead briefly in a band called Made Of Machines and has been a part of the regional music scene for some time while Elzey has toured the world as a tech for the likes of Hatebreed and Unearth, among many others.
Writes The Obelisk in part, “SHUN‘s Shun is ultimately more than just the sum of its parts. Even as opener ‘Run’ smooths out its intense initial push into atmospheric pastoralism, it’s clear the four-piece – who built the record from scratch in COVID isolation – have more multifaceted ambitions than ‘here’s some dudes rockin’ riffs.’ You get that Mark Morton from Lamb Of God shows up on ‘Heese.’ But you don’t get that it’s really the melodic character of the subsequent closer ‘Once Again,’ the vague, later-’90s alternative-everything impression of the way the thickness of the bass foretells the sway that caps the record…”
Adds Whitehead, “A lot of the basic ideas for this song date back to jams in Jeff’s and my previous band (Made Of Machines), but we were never really able to get it sounding the way we envisioned. Later, we jammed on it off and on with SHUN and initially stumped everyone there as well, but everyone said they wanted to keep working on it. Over the period of a few months Rob and Scott developed their parts, and Jeff and I felt like we were finally fulfilled our original vision. ‘Machina’ is also the first one I sent to J. Robbins to do a ‘proof of concept’ mix. When he sent the mix back, we were blown away. This song is a bit of a weird, slow burn journey that ends in pure chaos and is one of our favorites to play.”
Read more and stream SHUN’s “Machina,” courtesy of The Obelisk, at THIS LOCATION.
Shun, which features cover art by Alexander Von Wieding (Monster Magnet, Trouble, Karma To Burn), will be released on CD and digital formats via Small Stone with Kozmik Artifactz handling a limited vinyl edition. Find preorder options at THIS LOCATION where first single, “Run,” can be streamed. Fans of HUM, Lo-Pan, Throttlerod, Failure, Tool, Shine, and the like, pay heed.
Catch SHUN live next month with more dates to follow.
6/05/2021 Fleetwood’s – Asheville, NC
6/12/2021 Scratch N’ Spin In-Store – W. Columbia, SC
6/26/2021 Ground Zero – Spartanburg, SC
SHUN manifests a distinct identity throughout their eponymous LP, incorporating everything from melodic noise rock and heavy riffs to atmospheric largesse and contemplative, patient construction. Developed in covid-isolation over a period of several months, tt’s to the band’s credit that Shun exists at all, let alone that it is neither disjointed nor wanting for urgency. A forceful and intermittently aggressive offering, it balances mood and intensity of expression throughout its duration. The drums and bass comprising Shun were recorded in Elzey’s garage while Brandon’s guitars were captured in his basement studio. Whitehead’s guitars were recorded with amps tucked into his bedroom closet and vocals were also tracked in his house. A guest spot from Lamb Of God’s Mark Morton on the penultimate “Heese” required no studio stop-by. In the end, nine tracks were turned over to esteemed producer J. Robbins at Magpie Cage Recording Studio (Clutch, The Sword, Coliseum) for mixing and Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio for mastering.
Jeff Baucom – bass
Matt Whitehead – vocals, guitars
Rob Elzey – drums
Scott Brandon – guitars, vocals
Mark Morton – guitar solo on “Heese”
J. Robbins – various percussion
“SHUN‘s style manages to be thoughtful … without giving in to self-indulgence or pretense, and their debut offers high-grade, dynamic, melodic heavy rock that resounds with purpose, taking familiar elements and pushing them beyond simplistic genre confines.” – The Obelisk