So, I’ll start off by saying, I’m not a fan of death metal. I’m not a genre snob so I don’t dislike ALL of it, but it’s a very rare occurrence that I’ll actually like something put out by a band that labels themselves as death metal. But I wanted to really wrap my head around this one for a couple reasons, most notably being that I liked the name, Dr. Shrinker, which was taken from an old TV show where a weird sounding mad scientist would torment this group of people on an island- so basically it was like Gilligan’s Island but with a tweaker bad guy and Billy Barty from Willow.
It was in that interest that I took the review, a band who goes so against the grain as to not only name themselves something that so isn’t death metal, but also makes their logo LEGIBLE, is a band worth noting.
Dr. Shrinker got their start in the 80’s, and, being from Milwaukee, it took a LONG time for them to make a name for themselves (thanks, Violent Femmes). Understandably, there’s a lot of Dr. Shrinker music people have never heard because why bother if nobody’s gonna take notice, right? Well, finally, their name has gotten some notoriety, and because of this the band has compiled a long list of demo and live tracks to create a double live album called Archives.
One thing you need to understand about Dr. Shrinker is that they clearly draw a lot of influence from the show’s antagonist, in that, the band’s vocalist, Rich Noonan, sort of goes out of his way to sound truly mad. I’m a weird one, so I enjoy that kind of campiness, especially when it’s coming from a scene that prides itself on being dicks if it doesn’t correspond to the recipe. These guys have a song about Evil Dead 2, for fuck’s sake! With that said, the production quality sucks, but it’s old, so it’s understandable. And may actually add to the feel of Archives.
Fans of the band will really enjoy the old stuff that is on Archives. I’d really like to know their key influences, because, listening to all this stuff (and there’s A LOT), I couldn’t really draw a solid conclusion. That said, If you like stuff by Venom, Death, and old Slayer, you can get into this pretty easily.
All in all, while I’m still not completely sold on the genre, Archives is just one of those albums that I can truly respect because of it’s off the wall nature.
Archives drops August 15, 2017.
FFO: Venom, Death, Carcass
Rich Noonan – Vocals
Jason Hellman – Bass
Jesse Kehoe – Drums
Jim Potter – Guitar
Bloodrock Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0
Written by Hobbes Caltous for Bloodrock Media on July 19, 2017