HOUSE OF SHAKIRA – HoS
- by Matt Coe
- Posted on 21-12-2011
When you replace three core members of a group, slight apprehension lingers in the back of the mind if you’ve been a long time supporter of said band. Such is the case currently facing Swedish melodic hard rockers House Of Shakira- as ex-Mind’s Eye vocalist Andreas Novak takes over the microphone duties and there’s a new rhythm section with bassist Basse Blyberg and drummer Martin Larsson. Luckily, mainstay guitar duo Mats Hallstensson and Anders Lundstrom keep the potent, hook oriented riffs and harmonies in tact on this 13 song “HoS” effort.
Songs like “Brick Wall Falling”, the alternative, bluesy “Zodiac Maniac” and Dokken-like “Endless Night” have a sharp, precise edge and lean towards their hard rock roots and less about the AOR sheen present on the earlier “Retoxed” album. The vocal harmonies as well aren’t about pristine polish and more natural rock and soul instincts. The new rhythm section certainly gives the material an energetic pick me up- I love their off time interplay against the upbeat guitar lines within standout number “All Aboard!” and the party vibe meets restrained groove they trade off with for the verses and chorus on closer “Out Of My Head”. The ace in the hole is Andreas expansive range- confident, vibrant, charismatic, he should have no problem winning over the old House Of Shakira followers and possible expand their appeal to his familiar progressive audience.
Taking a solid two years to write the songs that comprise “HoS” you can tell the band are firing high on all of the melodic hard rock cylinders. Those who love Gotthard and Jaded Heart with a little more of a dynamic rhythm section should scoop up this record instantly. Let’s not wait 5 more years for a follow up, shall we?