Some write offs are fun. Some write offs are a bitch. This one is
Youre wondering what made me pick Shihad? Actually I didnt. My partner in this write off, Dean Cowie aka Dbcint, who just happens to reside in beautiful New Zealand picked it out. Hey Im not complaining he gave me something which is not that different from what I listened to five years or so ago.
Yea I got roped in MattA75's "If you Show me your's, I'll show you mine, 2005" write off. All right I volunteered. It did seem like a good idea at the time. Oh hell it was fun!
I suppose its appropriate that I write about this virtually unknown band from New Zealand. (at least outside of New Zealand) Its probably penance for being a habitual reviewer of unheralded bands from around the world. To date I have written 123 album reviews of which 85 were from foreign countries, as in not from the United States, and most of those were also pretty much unknown. Make that 86 now.
For the geographically challenged, New Zealand is a group of islands centered around two main islands, which if I remember right, are about eight hundred miles off the east coast of the smallest continent, Australia. If you don't know where Australia is, go back to school.
So is General Electric a good album? That's what we're here to find out. Ill tell you this though, Dean thinks its pretty good.
1. Intro NA
2. My Mind's Sedate ****1/2
3. General Electric ****
4. Wait & See ****1/2
5. Pacifier ***1/2
6. Thin White Line ***1/2
7. Only Time ****1/2
8. Just Like Everybody Else **1/2
9. Sport & Religion ****
10. Spacing ***1/2
11. Metal Song ****
12. Life In Cars ****
13. Brightest Star ***½
After a brief uninspired intro the album gets rocking good with My Minds Sedate a hard rock number which for some reason reminds me of The Knacks My Sharona. Next is the title track, General Electric which is a slower tempo bluesy number with strong guitar work and some clever riffs. Track 4, where have I heard that beat before? Wait and See reminds me strongly of Russ Ballards Voices - my vote for best song. Track five, Pacifier is a slow rock number. It was ostensibly a hit but it dont do much for me. Thin White Line is a pretty good medium speed rocker but the chorus is the title repeated over and over and that gets a little old. I like Only Time. Its a variable pace number with a catchy refrain. As with most of the songs we have strong guitar work but this one has more originality - second best song. Every album has to have a dog right? Well Just Like Everybody Else is the dog on this album although its only mildly below average. Its a hard driving rock number where the singer, who is pretty good by the way, shouts more than sings.
Sports and Religion is another strong song with a catchy riff and beat. It has a medium tempo and reminds me of Garbage, sans Shirley Manson of course. Track 10, Spacing is a bluesy ballad. Not bad, not great. Metal Song, has a heavy guitar intro and this medium tempo piece features a heavy guitar throughout. Next, Life in Cars is a decent medium slow paced bluesy number with kind of a Rock a Billy beat. The finale is Brightest Star. It has a nice sound but it doesnt go anywhere. Its like it dont have an end. It just meanders.
Shihads music is fairly simple and straight forward, like many of todays most popular groups. The singer- I dont know his name- is pleasant to listen to and the other band members seem competent, though not exemplary.
Would I buy this album? Probably, even though its not really my current kind of music. Would I recommend the album? Yes I would. Despite it not being something I would listen to on a regular basis, I can tell its pretty good and would most likely appeal to those of an Alternative Pop Rock, with the emphasis on rock, persuasion.
My rating 3.54 stars