Released: 2005, Lion Music
2005 sees the re-release of the debut album, LINT, from Swedish rock band Hosue of Shakira via Lion Music. LINT originally hit the stores in 1997, 6 years after the band’s formation and set off what the band’s bio indicates to be quite the buzz around the music world… though I’d never heard of the band prior to receiving this album. Since the original release of LINT the band has released three full-length albums, their most recent, FIRST CLASS, being released last year. Since the band’s original label has disappeared, leaving their first two albums out of print, Lion Music saw fit to re-release their debut and I wouldn’t doubt that there are currently plans to re-release the band’s second album, ON THE VERGE.
House of Shakira play the type of 80’s melodic rock that most music fans have turned their backs on, at least in North America anyway. The music is based on rocking, non-abrasive riffs, soaring vocals, soulful melodies and solos, and a generally basic rhythm section. Not to mention the typical big sing-a-long chorus. The production on the album is quite exceptional, there’s lots of room and it’s left rather open for all of the instruments to be heard. Unlike most albums the bass is rather present in the mix and you can actually hear it pretty clearly, which is definitely a strong point as it helps the listener get a sense of much of the albums groove and rhythm (that being something very important for this style of music). Off the bat this isn’t really my style of music, it’s a bit too light for my tastes and doesn’t really speak to me. It’s solid music and I can recognize that but I just can’t get into it.
“Morning Over Morroco” is a rather upbeat song. It focuses on an upbeat, congested, chugging riff with soaring vocals set overtop before transitioning into the rather typical, for the style, open chorus with touches of multi-tracked vocals. The title track, “Lint”, is based around a strong bass/drum groove, the guitar is used in a way to accent the groove, not necessarily to become it or to carry the song. Andreas Eklund’s vocals are very strong here and showcase a nice rich voice that moves nicely overtop of the music. “Method of Madness” is nice, upbeat rock song relying on a lot of multi-tracked voices to get across the vocal hook and chorus. The chorus actually reminds me of something I might here in the movie The Lion King for some reason, possibly because of the chanting vocals.
“Elephant Gun” has my favourite intro on the album with a nice grooving bass line that runs its way through most of the song. The guitar riff that follows is rather heavy and, for the short time it’s utilized in the song, it reminds me of the groovier moments of Extreme’s PORNOGRAFFITI album. For most of the album the band move between groove, mid-paced rockers, and ballads creating a nice diversity that keeps the music from getting stale and overly predictable. Not that House of Shakira are necessarily adding something new to the musical landscape but they’re doing what they do rather well.
LINT is a solid rock album that, while it doesn’t speak to me, I’m sure there are quite a few out there who will get a major kick out of this. Though, because it does nothing for me the rating of the album is rather low, but don’t let that fool you if you’re a fan of this stuff…