SS-197 :: SHUN – Dismantle

SS-197 :: SHUN – Dismantle

Label: Small Stone Records

Release date: July 19th, 2024

Catalog number: SS-197

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Track List

  1. Blind Eye
  2. Aviator
  3. Horses
  4. Drawing Names
  5. Storms
  6. NRNS
  7. You’re the Sea
  8. The Getaway
  9. Through the Looking Glass
  10. Interstellar

Album Info

Behold Shun as they truly are. Then a four-piece, the band made their self-titled debut through Small Stone in 2021, and Dismantle continues several crucial threads in terms of songwriting, the returning production from J. Robbins (who also contributes percussion, guitar and synth), and so on, while expanding their scope with a more refined crunch and drifting, ethereal outreach. It is heavier and paints a broader landscape in Matt Whitehead’s vocal and guitar melodies, able to take a prog-metal chug in “Horses” and reshape it as the backdrop for weighted post-rock while refusing to sap its own vitality in service to shoegazey posturing.

Rooted in punk and noise rock such that Cave In and Hum feel like touchstones as much as Sabbath and who- or whatever might’ve inspired the crush tucked at the end of “You’re the Sea” (thanks, by the way), Dismantle may hint as a title at notions of things coming apart, but there’s as much being built in its 10 tracks as is destroyed. What results from the trio of Whitehead, bassist Jeff Baucom and drummer Rob Elzey (Bo Leslie has since joined on guitar, re-completing the lineup) is material varied in its purpose but drawn together in traditional fashion by the electricity of its performances. The band-in-the-room feel in the methodical rollout of opener “Blind Eye” is all the more resonant with the debut having been remotely assembled during plague lockdowns.

Does that make Dismantle something like a second first album? Not really, but if it helps you get on board, you probably won’t get a ton of argument. While Whitehead’s past in Small Stone denizens Throttlerod is still relevant to Shun in some essential and riffy ways, Shun step forward with Dismantle and declare their meld of styles in tracks like “The Getaway” and “Interstellar,” able to push, pull, crash down loud or recede into float as they will. That they’d wield such command in their craft likely won’t be a surprise to those who took on the self-titled, but among the things Dismantle undoes, it strips the listener of expectations and replaces them with its unflinching creativity and refreshingly forward-looking take.

– JJ Koczan



Matt Whitehead: guitar and vocals
Rob Elzey: drums
Jeff Baucom: bass

Additional musicians:
J Robbins: percussion, synths, and guitar
Bo Leslie: guitar

Produced and engineered by J Robbins at Magpie Cage Studios in Baltimore, MD.
Mixed by J Robbins.
Mastered by Dan Coutant at Sun Room Audio.
Artwork by Alexander Von Wieding,
All songs written by SHUN, except for “Horses” written by SHUN and Scott Brandon.
Published by Small Stone Records (ASCAP).
Legal representation: Harlem Greenwood.