Review: Shakra – High Noon
AFM Records (Jan 16)
Reviewer: David Mark Pearce
Shakra, as you might know, have been around since their S/T debut in 1988. Fast forward eighteen years and the highly talented band from Switzerland are back with their latest album ‘High Noon‘. When Dan asked me to review this album, he was quite taken aback when I said I’d never heard them. Sure, I was aware of them, but had never heard anything by them. Having said that, I actually like getting albums by bands I’ve never heard – no pre-conceptions!
I may, or may not, be alone in this, but I actually thought I was listening to something by Gotthard on the opening track ‘Hello‘ – well, throughout the whole album actually. When I listened to this album it felt to me like Bonfire meets classic Krokus, staying in the vein of the aforementioned Gotthard. That’s a positive, by the way, as Gotthard are a class act as is this band here!
I’m also hearing, at times, a hint of Dee Snider in vocalist Mark Fox, aside from the obvious Steve Lee overtones. The first track, ‘Hello‘, blasts right out of the gate at a fast pace. Exactly what I want from an opening track. Straight between the eyes and no messing around. The second track and album title ‘High Noon‘ is more of a mid paced affair, a proper foot stomper but, don’t worry, we’re soon back up to pace with the next one ‘Into Your Head‘.
This brings us to the song ‘Around The World‘ with a really, really cool bluesy guitar solo and then the guitarist opens up the taps and ends in a spectacular flurry of notes. Brilliant. I don’t have the liner notes, so I’ve no idea whether it was Thom Blunier, or Thomas Muster, who performed it.
One song which really stood out was ‘Is It Real‘. Just a straight ahead rocker, with a great “no frills” riff in the chorus. It’s one of those songs, as indeed are others on this album, where If you saw this band live, you’d have every expectation of seeing feet on the monitors, heads banging, guitars down low and fists in the air, hair flying everywhere and for a drum stick to come flying past to some lucky member of the crowd. That’s exactly what you want from a band – great songs, a kick ass show and for you to be feeling like you could take on the world after it!
To sum up, there isn’t a bad song on this album. They’re all powerful and the choruses are really catchy, while still regaining the same power.