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House Of Shakira - 'Sour Grapes'

posted 30 Aug 2016, 08:56 by Paul Woodward

(Melodic Rock Records)

Review By Woody

I’ve always thought House of Shakira were a decent band but not one I got overly excited about, but when the band recruited vocalist Andreas Novak I thought he’d take them up a level not just vocally but with the song writing too and I wasn’t wrong. Since Novak has joined they have gone from strength to strength and Sour Grapes is an outstanding album and by far my favourite from them. HOS have always been a little bit quirky and off centre and I think that’s why they can be a little bit hit and miss in the past, those quirky elements are still there but Sour Grapes is definitely their most accessible and commercial collection of songs to date.

It’s an extremely exciting and enjoyable album which is extremely catchy and there is a nice upbeat and bright feel to the album overall. There are plenty of sing along choruses, soaring melodies, a strong but not overpowering keyboard presence and stunningly powerful vocals from Novak. It’s very smooth and ultra-melodic and in the main the choruses are huge melodic monsters coupled with intensely melodic guitar solos and hooks.

As usual HOS have written some very interesting and intriguing lyrics, which has always added to the quirkiness of their sound and style. For me this has added and extra level of appreciation of each song but it helps their music stand out in the crowd and gives them their own defined vibe. There is some quite vitriolic lyrics in the mix but the album never feels dark or angry but the subject matter is a little deeper than ‘Girls Girls Girls’ and maintains a bright feel good musical feeling.

It’s a solid album there’s no real filler or average cuts in the mix so it makes for a great album to listen to through without having to skip anything. The upbeat rocker ‘Trail By Fire’ is a personal favourite, the album opener ‘No Way Out’ is instantly memorable, ‘Through it All’ has a great sing along feel, ‘Bend Of The River’ highlights their AOR influences, the epic ‘On The Edge’ closes the album in dramatic fashion and I’m sure the anthemic ‘Stupid Love Song’ will prove popular with fans new and old!

Sour Grapes is a modern age melodic rock album which wears it’s AOR influences close to the surface, this stunning album is their melodic masterpiece. It’s upbeat, it’s smooth and it’s full of hooks and melodies that will get stuck in your head, definitely one of the strongest genre releases of the year. This an essential listen for every melodic rock connoisseur out there!

Track Listing: No Way Out / Nothing Left / Trial By Fire / Waste No Time / My Disaster / Through It All / Bend of the River / Hopeless Case / Sour Grapes / Stupid Love Song / On The Edge

Album Rating: 9/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Trial By Fire