Shangrila 27 - 2008
"Bones" Bono - Vocals
Mike Palone - Guitars
Michael Ekis - Bass
Keith Kweder - Drums
Take Slipknot, Mushroomhead, Korn and any other of the bands of that type, blend them up, spit them out... and you’ll get some sort sort of Shangrila 27 blend. It’s a very catchy cd, without being catchy. I know that's a contradictory statement, but let me back it up. The riff work on the cd with the guitar has everything that you would/could as for as a catchy/chunky song... but they all lack that vocal hook on the chorus. Also, in my opinion, in order for a hook to work you must give some kind of cusp in the music. It needs to change direction of some sort; a build up, a tempo change, a scale key change or any number of things would work to make this happen... but it just never seems to come in any of the songs. It just follows the - verse, chorus, verse, solo, chorus, verse/chorus - song structure that is common amongst a lot of bands. I always feel like I can predict what is going to come next, and I always feel like I’m relating the song to something I’ve heard before. Also, I feel like the vocals are a little strong in the mix. I understand that there is probably an emphasis being put on them, but I still would have preferred them brought down. On to the positive.
The leads are good. I enjoyed them a lot, the first song in particular, Fight. That song has an awesome dual lead full of super-fast note runs topped off with a throaty wah wah pedal. I like the sweep range of the wah wah pedal. Don’t Speak has some good leads as well. I love the album art, it’s very dark and dreary. On the spots that I can pull the bass guitar out, I like the tone. It’s very barky and throaty. If I had to pick a favorite song, it would probably be The Hole. It’s the heaviest track on the album. It has a very Pantera feel to a couple of the riffs as well as another great lead. There is an odd acoustic/clean part towards the end, but I’ll forgive that.
This is probably not a cd I would buy. I wouldn’t turn it off if it were on the radio or anything, it’s just not the type of music that I put in my cd player. I’ve seen them live 3-4 times, and I have enjoyed their live set every time that I’ve seen them. It’s good live music, just not something that I would probably have in my cd player. If you enjoy most of what 105.9 plays, this is a great CD for you!