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House of Shakira - Radiocarbon Award winner

House of Shakira
by Dani Bandolier at 27 January 2020, 11:01 PM

HOUSE OF SHAKIRA (1997) formed in Stockholm, Sweden about the same time that beautiful Colombian goddess SHAKIRA was blowing up the Universe with her pop stardom. I remember seeing her on late night telly series Saturday Night Live in the USA and when she did a pirouette halfway through “Whenever, Wherever” my teenage heart stopped. Now that is the power of music, dance and Colombian women, diosas all of them. ¿Vamos a ver si  HOUSE OF SHAKIRA tiene algo así poderoso, listo parceros?  ¡ Claro que sí !

“Herd Instinct” opens ‘RADIOCARBON’ and I detect some oohhing and aaahhing and something vaguely djembe and fula flute before settling down into the gooey gooey groove of “ One Circumstance”… wait, gooey? What is this my ears detect? I am listening to the download of ‘RADIOCARBON ‘ provided me to review for Metal Temple through Audirvana and it is GOATLORD molasses slow … either my editor Lior or someone else in the chain of custody has punked dani bandolier or the Old Speckled Hen has once again left me out of sorts.

… or maybe we just had some technical snafu on the digital order of 1’s and 0’s downloaded. I must have gotten a few 2’s in there as well. Thusly, I appeal to the gods of Tidal and find ‘RADIOCARBON’ among 10 previous full length releases and now, all is as it should be in my underworld. TRACK #2 “ One Circumstance” rocks. Right out of the bullpen these guys remind me of the Album Oriented Rock – AOR they describe themselves as being on their Facebook bio.. cats like WHITE LION, ENUFF ZNUFF, JOURNEY, DEF LEPPARD. Track #3 “Not Alone” is an upbeat tune. Seriously, this song is digital dope like the whole release is one slab of happy. Track #4 “Radiocarbon” shows off the bands cohesion and a smart, picture window clear mix; a brightly tuned mix which on this release I feel could channel a bit more bass lord authority in the low-midrange nether regions. The bass is there but shelved down below 80Hz or thereabouts. I feel it with the kick drum but I can’t hear it as prominently as the other stringed guitars on me mid-fi of JBL LSR 305’s stacked on top of a pair of Airpulse Model 1 monitors and a single 10 inch subwoofer.

Track #5 “A Tyrant’s Tale” kicks out Egyptian flavored guitar licks and creates space for the song’s pharoah vibe. “Delusion” is a love gone bad song with a driving riff and some cracking background vocals. “Scavenger Lizard” has some humor in the lyrics straight out of the 80’s wayback machine of bad girls and broke-dick dudes.“Like a Fool” track number 10 keeps the music upbeat with phat guitar riffs not out of place on a classic period AEROSMITH song, dropping-in while the rhythm section of Martin and Per keeps the music firmly in sortie and not out of formation into something it is not – this music is unabashedly ‘not heavy’. “Falling Down” closes out ‘RADIOCARBON’ with a hand-holder made for California glam rock lovers.

These lads in  HOUSE OF SHAKIRA can write a song, sing and play barn-burning rockers. I feel like I could be standing in front of the stage at the Whiskey in Los Angeles circa 1985 while listening to these guys. Andreas wails a bit like Jizzy Pearl from LOVE/HATE while bringing a smooth blue-eyed crooner character alá Steve Perry to his singing. The fiery (emphasis on the fyre ¡!) tag team guitar of Mats and Anders do not let us off the mat for one second.  In the 23 years that HOUSE OF SHAKIRA has been doing their thing, they have realized an acute sense of melody and prowess in their songwriting and music. I dig it.

..and I would be remiss if I did not point you to my Spotify playlist which includes my reviewed bands.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Herd Instinct
2. One Circumstance
3. Not Alone
4. Radiocarbon
5. A Tyrant´s Tale
6. Delusion
7. Save Yourself
8. Sweet Revenge
9. Scavenger Lizard
10. Like A Fool
11. Falling Down
Andreas Novak - Vocals
Mats Hallstensson - Guitars, Vocals
Anders Lundström - Guitars
Per Schelander - Bass, Vocals
Martin Larsson - Drums
Record Label: Frontier Records


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Edited 03 February 2023

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