Shihad are one of New Zealand's finest exports. They have supported AC/DC and have been inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall Of Fame, still they remain largely unknown outside their Antipodean homeland.
Produced by Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman the band's 9th album, FVEY has similarities to the current material from KJ, which is unsurprising considering his involvement with Shihad's debut album and their obvious influence on Shihad. The post punk elements rage through this album in a gripping vice that refuses to let go.
Think You're So Freehas already been getting some serious airplay on Planet Rock and XFM. It's raw social commentary has the feel of a 80s punk protest song but with the gritty brutality of the modern world.
The Big Lie has doom ridden lyrics and stripped back accompaniment which gives the percussive feel of a hamster running on a treadmill. John Toogood's desperate vocals throughout the first part of the album bear resemblance to the soothsayer who descends into madness because no-body listens! Gray Areacontinues with those powerful lyrics “ the future generation will in inherit the mess...The leader is a traitor.”
Tom Larkin's drumming ups the ante with every track becoming more fierce and anarchistic as the dissatisfaction and anger grows. The Living Deadmakes sparing use of harmonies and Phil Knights synthesisers to create an apocalyptic feel, coupled with his vengeful guitar hacking through the music eagerly followed by Karl Kippenberger's steady chugging bass lines.Song For No Onepulls back a little and lightens the tone musically, The Great Dividewithdraws even further with Tom sounding more like Simon Le Bon in places, which works well with the 80s sound the track has. This really continues the feel for the latter part of the album which is in contrast to the first five tracks.Loves Long Shadowis a love song, of sorts, in a depressive Joy Division way – minus the synths.
Shihad have produced a solidly morose punk album for the XY generation, that really should give them the shout out they deserve.