Thursday, July 03, 2008

Shield - Build Me Up... Melt Me Down (1994)

Shield were a Swedish hardcore band from the mid 90's. They had releases on Desperate Fight Records. They released one full length and this EP. The EP was their first release to hit the states. It is 5 of the best hardcore songs I have ever heard. I say this with conviction because I have been able to put this on for the past 14 years and still want to listen to it over and over again.

"Flow" is an amazing start off with a great riff. The reference the "relentless flow" and that is a good starting point for how powerful these 5 tracks are. There isnt a weak part to be found (though some might feel differently about the female vocal additions on "Hide"). My personal favorite has always been "The Snowman Blues", which the cover and title cheekily reference. Its starts off slowed down and slurred, like what it must feel like to wake in such cold climes, drums lagging, sounding weird, guitars lazily riffing, then it speeds up to proper speed and it feels like the sun has just opened up on the land... But this isnt post rock, this is a shredder. Of course the lyrics could be the subject of much humour. The song is written from the viewpoint of a snowman who wishes for the sun to shine its warmth upon him, to clear the winter from his heart. "Build me up! Melt me down! Please turn your face to me / I am the snowman, and I am singing, the Snowman Blues". If the song that backs these lyrics werent so amazing then these lyrics would be trampled by tougher animals. But as it is, the chops alone make you feel for the sad, frosty fucker.

So, think Swedens answer to New Age Records... Similar to Outspoken with a dose of early Lifetime melodies (early, like Backgorund early) These 5 songs give The Current EP a run for its money. And for any Outspoken fans, they know that The Current is the best Outspoken record.

I know very little else of Shield, but these 5 songs positively burn with roiling, introspective energy. I havent shown this to one person that did not like it.


Blogger papstar said...

two posts back to back? that is damn near prolific. Must be gearing up to disappear for the long weekend?

Never really heard this group, downloading now. If you love it this much, I'm not sure how I couldn't like it.

1:52 PM  
Blogger papstar said...

oh and I'm not really going anywhere special.. I just recently moved from md to I have to go back there to handle some shit then turn around and come right back! But I don't mind driving that far as long as there are NO kids with me and I have music...and herb.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous AVERSIONLINE said...

Dude. YES. Someone recommended this to me on my site the other day and I just listened to it this morning for the first time. BLOWN AWAY that I had never heard of this band back in the day, 'cause you're right, this shit is fucking great. Haven't been able to find a high-quality download of the full-length yet (which seems easier to find on CD) to check out to see if it'd be worth buying. I wish all these old labels would sell their out of print releases as cheap downloads, damnit...

1:55 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

I agree. that and I wish there was a place to view nice sized artwork. I'm a geek about having decent artwork in my iTunes and some of it is so hard to find.

I remember not caring much for the full length, but it may have just been timing. I would love to hear it again. I remember them on the cover looking like vampires... and they started calling themselves "the Shield" as opposed to just "Shield" and then they disappeared. like vampires.

good luck on your journey paps! These last two posts should get you at least one way in a jiffy. ^_^

my girlfriends parents are in town til monday, so I will be dipping out for a bit again, but I have lots of free time during work, so I figured I'd catch up a bit...

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you can post their full-length, 'vampire songs'...that'd be awesome!

11:29 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

@ anon,

sorry, i dont have the full length. Maybe someone else here does have it though. coughPapstarcough!


I have a few requests myself.

10:17 PM  
Blogger papstar said...

sure ya go

shield - vampiresongs

what requests do you have Blend?

2:45 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

haha!! Papstar, you rule. How have you been? How was the roadtrip?

here are my requests.

- Opposition “Bad Days and Better Advice” LP

- Absinthe 7"

- Worlds Collide - all of it.

- Unionsuit - Demo

i would be pretty stoked to have any of those. thanks papstar.

9:10 AM  
Blogger luciferyellow said...

Oh, yes. I'd like me some Worlds Collide, too, pretty please ;-)

10:47 AM  
Anonymous theodore said...

hey fellas,

i've been a regular reader here for some time, and post an occasional DL, so i thought i'd pass on the link for the blog i recently started:

it's pretty niche oriented, and definitely hanging out at the far end of The Long Tail. but you know, we kind of like it there. it's a little glimpse into a small scene from many years ago. some bands never played outside of local basements, and some went on to much greater notoriety beyond those humble beginnings. so, check it out if you can. thanks!

7:20 PM  
Anonymous mostly blue skies said...

Kind of sounds like Golgatha, with some Congress mixed in... (and maybe some Guernica?)

5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This record is amazing. It totally lived up to the promise of the awesome song on Straightedge as fuck 1, in a way that i felt that Vampiresongs didn't. If you haven't heard the song on SXEaF 1, please check it out! it totally stands out from everything else on there, both because of the quality of the songwriting and the un-forcedness of the singer's delivery. I think the song is called Kaleidoscope, I haven't been able to find it anywhere else but there.

4:26 PM  
Blogger moyaldamien said...

I've been looking for this for a while!

+ Damien

10:13 PM  
Anonymous johnny said...

whoever wanted that opposition lp, i have it and will upload it soon.

3:20 PM  
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