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Album Reviews : Shellfin – Cities Without Names

By on February 23, 2015

a0427954731_2If there’s one thing that Shellfin proved with their debut full length and the EP that preceded it, it’s that they know how to write catchy, groovy riffs; ultimately the bottom line when you’re putting together a stoner rock album. So, as expected, Cities Without Names is chock-full of them, but the wider scope is what puts it ahead of the others.

Only two tracks in is “Get On” which breaks down into blissful, eyes-closed territory. “The Earth Is An Egg” might start out as simple rock-out tune with some cool keyboard backing but the latter half sees it take a wild turn into a Megadeth cover, with a cover of the Johnny Young-penned (but originally performed by Russell Morris) “The Real Thing” being a surprise highlight later on. The clapping in “Smoking Gun” will no doubt see it a permanent live inclusion, the 8-minute “Delusional” is as close to doom as they get with plodding riffs and spoken word, and the title track is an acoustic piece.

What this all means is that while all 54 minutes have that same solid foundation of a dash of Monster Magnet, a hefty dose of Kyuss, and a sprinkle of name-any-other-stoner-rock-band, there’s enough other ideas and deviations in there to keep it from being riff-soup.

Reading any of Shellfin’s press releases or just looking at their online presence will make it obvious that they aren’t a band trying to write any serious, ground-breaking art. They’re just having a good ol’ time writing tunes to rock out to with your substance of choice, and that carefree attitude shines through to the point where even if this review was full of critiques, they probably wouldn’t give a shit anyway. Rock’n’roll.

At the time of publishing, Cities Without Names is available for free download from

Genre: Stoner rock
Label: Indepedent
Origin: Queensland, Australia

Track listing:
1. Poisoned Heart
2. Get On
3. Alesios Speculum
4. The Earth is an Egg
5. Down to Zero
6. She is a Robot
7. Smoking Gun
8. The Real Thing
9. Tomorrow Never Arrives
10. Delusional
11. Cities Without Names


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.