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| 11 February 2016 | Reply


Label: AFM Records

Release Date: February 5, 2016

Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

I was totally blown away the last time a Shakra CD came across my desk, so I had to find the time to absorb the latest collection of rock tracks from these guys.  The first release since the 2014 Best Of collection, this disc offers up twelve new tracks for rock fans everywhere.  Disc opener “Hello” kicks the disc off in the right direction with an anthemic gem that is full of soaring vocals, searing leads, and enough drum pounding and bass thumping to please any rocker, regardless of their preferred subgenre.  The tempo and vibe of the track get the foot tapping and the head banging.  The title track “High Noon” is next up and doesn’t disappoint, even though it slows the tempo down a bit from the last track.  The guitars wrap themselves tightly around Mark Fox’s vocals, which build slowly throughout the song and pump extra energy into the chorus.  “Around The World” is a bottom heavy track that slows down the tempo a bit without bringing down the mood and vibe of the track.  The bass from Dominik Pfister is paired perfectly with Roger Tanner’s drums and give this song a bit of character and differentiation from other songs on the disc.  “Is It Real” is an exciting track that brings a few new pings and squeals to the disc.  The six-string duo of Thom Blunier and Thomas Muster give the guitar depth and more texture on this track, especially on the solo at the bridge, where the charging solos combined with the chugging riffs create a cool sound.  “The Storm” is self-descriptive, with a flurry of guitars wrapped around, thunderous drums, and a hailstorm of pounding bass lines.  Once the gale of vocals blow into the mix, the song rips through the speakers with the force of a tornado.  The breakneck pace of the verse is offset nicely by the pre-chorus.  “Stand Tall” has a different feel and vibe during the intro, but soon shifts gears and give the disc another bass and drum heavy track that perfectly demonstrates how a well-oiled rhythm section can control and drive a track from open to close without drowning out the vocals and guitars.

“Into Your Heart” is a straight ahead rocker that gives us chugging riffs at the verse, but cool solos on the chorus and bridge.  Fox’s vocals are well suited for the track and its high energy tempo and rhythm.  This song was built for the stage and should go over extremely well with a live audience.  “Eye To Eye” opens with a cool blues groove that quickly morphs into a guitar driven rocker.  The vocals are showcased on this track and really draw you in.  This song is a perfect blend of vocals, guitar, bass, and drums, making this one of my favorite tracks on the disc.  “Life’s What You Need” is a beautiful piece that showcases an acoustic guitar duet with Fox that builds slowly through the verse, where the band slowly enters the mix as the chorus kicks in and gives the track an emotional push.  “Raise Your Hands” is a solid and steady track that brings Blunier and Muster’s guitars together with Fox’s vocals and cultivates a chugging sound that remains consistent without droning on and on.  The solo at the bridge is one of the best on the disc and adds punch to the rocker.  “Watch Me Burn” is a blues-driven track that benefits from soaring guitar leads and more raspy vocals.  The songs rhythm and feel are very catchy and get the foot tapping.  This is another of the standout tracks on the disc, due to its simple twist of rock and blues.  Disc closer “Wild And Hungry” brings together so many of the things done right on this disc, including vocals that suit the lyrics and urgency of the music.  The guitars are full and build a wall of sound that fills your speakers.  The bass and drums from Tanner and Pfister respectively deliver a killer cadence that is built for my morning running play list.  Get out there and pick up the latest from Shakra – you don’t want this killer collection to pass you by…

​​Tracklisting: Hello – High Noon – Into Your Heart – Around The World – Eye To Eye – Is It Real – Life’s What You Need – The Storm – Raise Your Hands – Stand Tall – Watch Me Burn – Wild And Hungry






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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