August 18, 2009

Seek Shelter immediately

Instrumental bands have emerged with increasing frequency during the last decade, the most recent evolutions no doubt spurred by the commercial success of Texas’ Explosions in the Sky. Though their recognition on a larger scale was certainly welcome, it led to the inevitable unintended consequence: quantity far exceeding quality (and, in the majority of cases, originality).

Shelter Red, a dynamic duo from Portland, lacks neither. Stephan Hawkes – one of the more inventive musical minds I’ve ever come across – and bassist Austin Crook have been devastating the Pacific Northwest for the better part of six years. In February, they followed up 2007’s independent full-length Masters of the Universe with a seven-song EP debut for Salt Lake City’s Sound Vs Silence. Aptly named, Strike a Mortal Terror not only rattles the instrumental realm to its core, but redefines it in a mere 32 minutes. Terrifying indeed.

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