Despite celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, Switzerland’s Shakra are a band who have never truly got near to dining at the top table of rock ‘n’ roll. Sharing stages with heavyweights like Iron Maiden and Guns ‘N’ Roses gave them a wee snifter of how the other half live, but a promotion to the premier league never beckoned. Formed in 1995 when the Grunge epidemic was still killing off Rock bands with even a remote hint of glamour, they rode the storm and carved out a prolific recording career. At this stage of their existence headlining a Hollywood Bowl or a Madison Square Garden maybe a far distant dream, but that hasn’t stopped them consistently churning out high end Rock.
‘Mad World’ is album number twelve from the Swiss boys and it gives a rollicking shot in the arm straight away. Curtain raiser ‘Fireline’ hits you hard with a pistol whipping rhythm bolstered by a strapping chorus.
While fellow countrymen Krokus bared their love for AC/DC on near plagiaristic levels, Shakra do it with a bit more of a respectful restraint. The riff to ‘Too Much Is Not Enough’ may sound pretty generic, but it’s DNA was spawned from fingers of the legendary Young brothers.
The opening chimes of ‘A Roll Of The Dice’ suggests something heading in the Nu/Metalcore direction, but it detours with the sugar dipped chorus which is firmly immersed in hook laden AOR. The title track sticks pretty much to a safe formula of clean sounding guitars and standardised melodies, nothing you haven’t heard before. But don’t be thinking this album has shot it’s load too early, ‘When He Comes Around’ and ‘Thousand Kings’ are both grade A slabs of arena Rock, and the meat and potatoes Metal boogie of ‘I Still Rock’ packs a hardy blue collar punch.
Like countless bands of their ilk, you wish they had formed ten or fifteen years earlier, a track like ‘New Tomorrow’ would’ve been lapped up by the ballad loving MTV generation and thus potentially sending the band stratospheric.
Not to be, but the Rock genre will always have a healthy heartbeat with a class band like Shakra around.
Too Much Is Not Enough
A Roll Of The Dice
When He Comes Around
I Still Rock
When It All Falls Down
Turn The Light On
Son Of Fire