by Richard Golden
Melody Hill was the Circle Sky Records official magazine while we were open between 2002 and 2010.
Being a record store we did lots of reviews of music-related items. The following is a review of The Shazam – ” Tomorrow The World” (Release Date: 5 November 2002 – Not Lame Recordings NL-077 – CD) from Issue #1.
I was under the hood of my ’72 Heavy Chevy, (you know, a version of the Chevelle Malibu), when I heard the opening chorus “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No”.
It was a sweet, rockin’, oh yeah, rockin’ sound resonating from the speakers. The power chords, harmonies, tinkling xylophone, driving me into equal amounts of high octane frenzy, toe-tapping slap-happy memories of the music I heard on my original AM/FM eight-track stereo in my ol’ Chevelle. But this is 2002, not 1964 to 1979.
The sounds are not so retro, yet at the same time, I realize I’m into the glorious sounds of Big Star, early Who, and even Cheap Trick!!! The killer hooks, the riffs, the southern flare, whimsy-clever, yet most delightful lyrics of my spent youth gone by of driving with my windows down, volume to the max, got my attention to say the least!
“Hands are dirty but my lips are clean, lost no friends cause it ain’t my scene, swear I never felt so bad, but oh what fun we had”, more driving guitar hooks, you gotta love this stuff, “Yeah, everybody say yeah”, and this is only the first in twelve songs. You guessed it, No 1: “Nine Times”, after that No 2: “50 Foot Rock”, a southern rockin’ roller, begins with lots of Oohs, and those guitars.
These boys from Nashville know how to roll away the boulders of power pop/rock‘n’roll. No. 3: “Goodbye American Man’’ is a foot-stompin’, beat-driven ditty about having to leave this southern town and the girl in it. Show your colors, wave that American rock’n’roll flag, too bad she said goodbye to this American band.
No. 4: What could be more appropriate in these troubled times but watchin’ it “Fallin’ All Around Me”, “All I Need Is A Little Rest”, rock on and on with harmonizing lead vocals/guitar by this believable singer, Hans Rottenbery, (one of the best vocalists, to come out of Tennessee since Alex Chilton of Big Star).
No. 5: “New Thing Baby” (indeed), “Gonna knock it around” (I will hit the repeat button again). No.6: “Gettin’ Higher” ‘’Every day from sunrise to sunset”, I can’t get enough of Scott Ballew’s bass either. No.7: “NQRK”, building into even more anthem quality, sassy, head-bobbing with lots of punching “Not quite right kid” lyrics and guitar licks.
No.8: “Squeeze The Day” by putting your hands together with those chiming guitars and tambourine, let me know you‘re out there with those vocal harmonies and hooks. No. 9: “We Think Yer Dead” … not!
No. 10: “Turnaround”, I guess you know by now, I cannot stop listening to these guys, doot, doot, doot, doot, doot, doot, doot. No. 11: “You Know Who” is more of those catchy lyrics, I can’t get this out of my head, really.
No.12: A beautiful ballad done right with those lead vocals again, quite simply put “Not Lost Anymore” in this sea of radio crap. Where has this band been all my adult life? Hardly forty-one minutes and I cannot stop repeating this again and again. This is “gloriously upbeat” as the Shazam have been called in England. This is their fourth record-plus. What are you kids waiting for? Go out and buy this four-piece powerhouse of rock’n’roll from Nashville, Tennessee. You can’t go wrong with producer, Brad Jones, either. Yes, the Shazam seem to have reinvented “the rock wheels” on this old Chevy. They certainly have blown the doors off. This is my unbiased opinion and I am sticking to it. Kenny Howes, I hope you’re listenin’ too.
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