|ojotigre||Fecha: Viernes, 2013-10-11, 8:35 PM | Mensaje # 1|
|HOUSE OF SHAKIRA - Pay To Play (2013) |
Swedish melodic rockers HOUSE OF SHAKIRA are releasing their 2nd album with lead singer Andreas Novak entitled "Pay To Play". According to
founder member Mats Hallstensson, this is the band's best record so far
and it certainly does not disappoint.
In its 22-year history House Of Shakira has released six studio albums,
all of which have left their mark in the melodic rock community, making
the band one of Sweden's best known musical exports as well as hometown
On its 12 songs, "Pay To Play" showcase a confident, veteran melodic
(hard) rock band with a firm understanding of what's necessary to
satisfy the fans.
Right out of the gate the mid-tempo title track anthem shines with these
slow hitting, bluesy guitar harmonies from Mats Hallstensson and Anders
Lundstrom as well as a playful melody from Andreas Novak. It is
energetic but still classic. The sound of a bottle popping and the
background noise of the restaurant set the mood for what this album
wants to do.
"All You Want" has more commercial aspirations, a fine old-school
keyboard shimmering during the chorus with bright vocal harmonies
bringing the song home.
Going right for the hookline early in a happy manner, "When the Cats
Away" and "Dog Eat Dog" are cuts that makes you instantly want to sing
along. The riffs catches your attention, and then, the songs continues
to build to keep your appeal.
On the latter, the background vocals reminds Baton Rouge meets Loverboy
circa Lovin' Every Minute Of It while drummer Martin Larsson delivers
some nifty fills during this slower, groove-oriented arrangement.
There is a call to action feeling of each track. Most of the songs are
upbeat and fun, and that makes you want to bang your head and tap your
foot. "Draw the Line" has very good riffs and such an anthem-like sound
with the combination of the members singing the lyrics.
"Talk of the Town" starts out with a higher pitch of voices, and there
is an initial guitar line that gets more and more intense as the song
plays on. The vocals lose the higher pitch and the attitude of the song
Some of my favorites include the Thin Lizzy-like guitar runs and soulful
vocals throughout "Dopamine Junkie" and the down 'n dirty number "Two
Things" that reverts back to a lot of the roots of '70s hard rock.
House Of Shakira may not be the flashiest of melodic hard rock acts, but
on "Pay To Play" they execute their songwriting with thick riffing,
smart melody choices and carry things through with super multi-part
This band have always had a certain element of quirkiness in them, and
they've still got it. Their lyrics aren't the 'usual kind of stuff' and
their music has some nice twists and turns.
In the past I've missed some anthemic, catchy hooks, but now they've
delivered in that department too. I also like the neat references to
classic rock legends they've built into the songs; take a listen and see
if you can spot some bits of Queen, Foreigner, Def Leppard and Thin
Lizzy among others.
01 - Pay to Play
02 - Bending the Law
03 - All You Want
04 - When the Cat's Away
05 - Dopamine Junkie
06 - Draw the Line
07 - Dog Eat Dog
08 - Give Me More
09 - Tried and True
10 - Talk of the Town
11 - Two Things
12 - Same Old Story
Andreas Novak - Lead Vocals
Mats Hallstensson - Guitars, Vocals
Anders Lundström - Guitars, Vocals
Basse Blyberg - Bass, Vocals
Martin Larsson - Drums
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