Wednesday, August 14, 2013
SHANNON: "Circus Of Lost Souls"
Label: Mad Association 2013
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
I may be wrong, but I think that Shannon are the very first French hard rock band I've reviewed. And they're not a bad act to start with - this is their third album apparently and at its' best it's very good. Big choruses, swirling keyboards and powerful guitar work are the main ingredients, but there's more...
"Ride To Live" is a very suitable opener, anthemic and catchy in a decidedly German way, reminding me of Human Zoo, Bonfire and Axxis. I'm not so sure about the almost cookie monster-like backing vocals though. "Forever Now" takes a couple of steps towards power metal, while "Halfway To Heaven" has a bit of a Fair Warning-vibe. Great chorus, but what's wrong with the backing vocals again? Some drunken pirates screaming there if you listen closely, very strange.
"Can't Stop The Rain" is a pretty classy power ballad in the finest 80'ies fashion, followed by a fastpaced Acceptish track "Don't Get Me Wrong" (rather average) and more melodic "Dust To Dust" (good). Next few tracks are unfortunately quite bland, riff-based rockers with hints of AC/DC and early Gotthard. The Bon Jovi-like "In Your Eyes" sees the band returning to a more melodic style, but "Drive Me Crazy" takes them back to the AC/DC'ish format.
The band has chosen an eighties' pop cover to close the album. I admit I have a soft spot for rocked-up pop tracks, but Shannon's version of Bronski Beat's "Smalltown Boy" just doesn't work. Maybe it's because I never liked the song to start with, I don't know.
The melodic, hook-driven side of Shannon's material could be the band's ticket to the A-list of Euro hard rock, with the standard accadacca riffage they'll probably remain mere local heroes. But what do I know, Airbourne are duplicating the AC/DC sound to a tee and they're well on their way to stardom.