Sanctuary: A First-ish Impression


Hey there, 10 in the morning! How’s it going? I know, we don’t usually meet like this; honestly, I can’t believe I’m even writing this early in the day — me who usually posts mere minutes before it could no longer be considered the day he was supposed to update his blog on.

It’s a blissful coincidence, though, that’s brought us together today. How perfect that Tuesday is Blog Day, the only day I don’t have to be at class before noon, and this Tuesday is the day Infinity Shred decided to drop their new album on our upturned, salivating faces.

Infinity Shred, if you’ve never heard of them, is the somewhat-reinvented and renamed version of Starscream, the guys behind the brilliant Future, And It Doesn’t Work. The title track off that album was featured in the credits of Christine Love’s also-brilliant Digital: A Love Story, and that’s how I originally found out about them.

That’s the short-and-sweet backstory for you. Here in the present, it’s September 10th and I’m waking up to seven glorious FLAC files waiting in my inbox. And against my better judgment, I’m listening to them for the first time, in that nebulous, only-mostly-conscious, doesn’t-really-feel-like-the-day-has-started-yet period halfway between a warm mattress and the cold plastic chair of a college classroom. That is to say I’m listening to Sanctuary for the first time right now. Literally, as I write this. (Edit: Okay, by the time I finished this post, I was onto my second listen.)

And what do I think? That’s why I’m writing this, right? Hm… what do I think…

Well, it’s always a bad idea to form much of an opinion on the first listen, so all I’ll say is this: It’s not the Starscream I used to love. Neither was Gnar Dream, really. And I’m… okay with that. I’m super okay with that, because I’m not sure you could ever top what turned out to be Starscream’s farewell album, Future, Toward the Edge of Forever. I think the best thing they could have done was hop gracefully from the path they’d blazed and get started blazing a new one. Never stop growing. Never stop reaching. And if Gnar Dream is Infinity Shred’s cautious first step — its “hey guys we have this new sound and we hope you’ll like it” — then Sanctuary is them standing atop a mountain with arms extended toward the sky, challenging the heavens to a rock-off.

Even just one listen confirms that Infinity Shred is still one of the few bands that can completely move me — genuinely, from the inside out. Turn a crap day into something not so crap. Remind me that things are wonderful and life is awesome and the universe is full of radness and possibility. Every song they write seems infused with a childlike awe — about everything. I don’t know where it comes from, but I hope they never lose it, because the world could always use more.

Wait — is that too gushy? Right, right; first impressions. Best not to jump to any conclusions yet. Forget I said anything!

…just be sure to give it a listen as soon as humanly possible.


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