In 2018, L.A. skate rockers The Shrine played a Black Flag set in Hollywood with original Flag/current OFF! frontman Keith Morris. “Running through those tracks everyday for a while rubbed off on me real hard, like I was 15 again and learning ’em for the first time,” says The Shrine vocalist/guitarist Josh Landau. Fully energized, Landau and his bandmates Jeff Murray (drums) and Corey Parks (bass) wrote a solo-free punk grinder called “Born To Waste Away.” The lyrics were partly inspired by the band’s Hollywood surroundings—“Plastic tits and homeless seizure fits”—and the works of ’70s soul poet Gil Scott-Heron, the man who announced that “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”
Flash to 2020, and we learned that ol’ Gil was wrong. After the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police was screened across the globe thanks to brutal cell phone footage, protestors everywhere took the to the streets. The first couple of nights were intense—especially in L.A., where buildings and cop cars burned. But peaceful protest prevailed, and when Landau saw what was happening, the previously unreleased “Born To Waste Away” took on new meaning.
“The awakening currently taking place amongst people young and old marching in the streets for equality and being fearless in the face of Nazi cops inspired me to want to make some noise,” he explains. “All my friends were sending around footage of our city exploding and on fire, but also people dancing and enjoying themselves in the mess and it reminded me of this song, so we found the tape from two years ago.”
The alternately insane and hilarious footage—paired with the old-school rawness of the song itself—will take fans back to The Shrine’s 2012 debut, Primitive Blast. “It would feel really good to be able to get in some faces and play this one as soon as the world reopens,” Landau offers. “There are more tracks and demos from the last while…. maybe coming soon.”