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Articles Home » 2012 Articles » House Of Shakira - 2012 HoS
House Of Shakira - 2012 HoS

ARTIST: House Of Shakira
LABEL: Lion Music
YEAR: 2012


LINEUP: Andreas Novak - lead vocals * Mats Hallstensson - guitars, backing vocals * Anders Lundstrom - guitars * Basse Blyberg - bass * Martin Larsson - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Brick Wall Falling * 02 Changes In Mind * 03 Carry My Load * 04 Zodiac Maniac * 05 Fractions Of Love * 06 Midnight Hunger * 07 Endless Night * 08 All Aboard * 09 What Goes Around * 10 I'll Be Gone * 11 Voice In The Void * 12 Lost In Transition * 13 Out Of My Head



Sweden's House Of Shakira have always appealed as a melodic rock band slightly left of center. If you recall their 'Lint' album from 1997, that was full of surprise moments. Especially so since their pre-cursor history included time as the band The Station, who were very popular among the AOR Underground of the early 90's. The Shakira team have since stabilised, and made sporadic appearances with their longtime label Lion Music. Now in 2012, they return after a few years away with their newest addition; vocalist Andreas Novak, who some will remember from a solo career, as well as being a member of fellow Swedes Minds Eye. Also joining are a new rhythm section in Blyberg and Larsson. Getting back to basics, the band have even labelled their new album 'HoS', and no, it's not named after the guy in the old cowpoke TV show Bonanza!

The Songs
Thirteen tracks abound, and you can spend a good deal of time getting to the bottom of each of them. Thick bass lines precede 'Brick Wall Falling', then it's guitars for Africa as the Shakira boys lay waste to the hinterland. A grand opening spell which sets the scene for the wickedly good 'Changes In Mind'. Don't be fooled by the delicate piano intro, this one comes laden with weighty six string steel. 'Carry My Load' is a racy number, complete with pumping bass lines and big vocal choruses making this track a clutch tune. The interesting titled 'Zodiac Maniac' sounds like the tale of a guy frustrated with a star-sign obsessed gal by the sounds of things, it's followed by the weekend warrior rock of 'Fractions Of Love', the twin guitars of Hallstensson and Lundstrom very much to the fore. 'Midnight Hunger' is a party rocker of the first degree, a great live number I bet, and another clutch contender me thinks. 'Endless Night' features some unusual guitar patterns which in turn creates some interesting musical twist and turns. Also slightly different in approach is the percussion oriented 'All Aboard', the drum fills providing a point of difference with guitars. bass and vocals going off to alternate directions of the musical compass. Turning up the sugar dosage of melody, 'What Goes Around' is a lovely acoustic/electric piece, not unlike The Riverdogs in their prime. 'I'll Be Gone' is excellent mid-paced melodic rock that fits in nicely with what is contemporary in 2011/2012, so too 'Voice In The Void', a high energy affair, particularly at chorus time. 'Lost In Transition' is the one true ballad on the album, acoustic guitar is prevalent except for the extended soaring lead guitar from the mid-point through to the end. Nice stuff. The album finishes on a high with 'Out Of My Head' maintaining House Of Shakira's persistent energy levels. No slacking off here!

In Summary
'HoS' is a reminder of a band still in their prime, and it's good to see them back and in the center-lane of melodic rock during the early part of 2012. I think this album is going to fare quite well among the melodic rock faithful, as it has a good energy and all round vibe. It's hard to really compare them to anyone else - they truly have a sound all of their own, and that my friends in the context of today's copy-cat rock n roll is a unique and envious attribute to have!

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#1 | roadrunner158 on March 29 2012 16:39:53
It took me a couple of spins to really 'get' this album. Always been a fan of the band, and this album is among their best - certainly much better than 'First Class' and 'Retoxed'.
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