Wednesday, 5 March 2014
HOUSE OF SHAKIRA - Pay To Play (CD)
This is a band I’ve followed since their early days under the name Station, we were even on the same labels twice. No, I’m not biased at all. This is a band that has been very consistent, always delivering high-class AOR/melodic rock albums through the years. Pay To Play very well continues that tradition. However, this time they have taken a slight turn towards a more classic hard rock at times, inviting us to share some good solid riffing as well, which is a nice touch. Up-tempo rocker “When The Cat’s Away” is a prime example, as well as “Dopamine Junkie”, which actually reminded me a bit of classic Thin Lizzy. “Tried And True” starts off with a very Schenker-sounding intro riff, but changes into a blues ballad, which was quite the surprise. “Dog Eat Dog” is another heavy rocker with a typical, cool House Of Shakira chorus. I also love the Queen-flirt in "Same Old Story". The band have always been about a cool, stripped down, almost analogue, production without any bells and whistles they can’t pull off live, which is also quite rare today. A sound I’ve always loved, and which they still maintain. All in all this actually turns out to be one of the strongest HoS albums to date, in my opinion. A perfect mix of melody and riffing, a great crispy mix, performed with excellence. I also must say Andreas Novac’s voice fits the band perfectly. The title and title track also says it all about how bands of their level have to deal with today's music business. If you think we are rock stars and make tons of money. Forget about it. It's mostly "pay to play" that is applied. Sad but true.
Label: Melodic Rock Records