Shihad’s debut album, Churn, was never available on vinyl – it was released in 1993. CD was the way forward then. So now, all these years later – 20 in fact – a limited edition release of Churn on vinyl is one of the highlights of Record Store Day for New Zealanders. (Available from today)
In hearing Churn on vinyl – an album I’ve always loved – it’s moved right back up the pecking order for me; it is now my favourite Shihad album. I like the first four albums, I think the band evolved, progressed – and pound for found The General Electric takes some beating, in that it’s the album that best suits the band’s newer style in terms of live replication. You’ll still find plenty of General Electric highlights in any live Shihad set.
But people have always love the Churn cuts, the mighty Screwtop for instance. A regular live favourite. And to hear songs like Stations with fresh ears is to marvel at how, 20 years on, Shihad’s debut sounds so fresh, better than anything on the market at the time, as good – or better – than anything on the market now.
Jaz Coleman (of Killing Joke) was at the helm and he certainly lends an air of his band’s sound to Shihad. It’s clear the band was caught up in the metal of the day, and more specifically the metal of the decade before. But with some hardcore, post-punk and punk influences in there too Shihad managed to shape a sound that was all its own. A huge sound. Glorious.
It’s exciting to think – hearing Churn again now, almost as if for the first time – that Coleman is back with the band for their upcoming new album. Could they finally rebottle the lightning?
Shihad remains a fantastic live act. I haven’t cared about any of their albums in over a decade – there’s the odd track, sure. And live they deliver. But I stopped caring about the albums after the first four. Here, the chance to go back hints tantalisingly at what might be in front of us. Fingers crossed.
Until then grab the vinyl version of Churn. Make it your Record Store Day purchase. Make it your must-have music buy of this week. If you’ve never heard it I reckon it’s a must. If you’ve loved the album then you owe yourself this mint vinyl reissue.
I’ve been listening to this all week in tandem with the new Beastwars album. They make a great pair.