Nothing breaks more with the suburban dream than becoming a bunch of rock stars touring the world. This is the case with Shiraz Lane, the five piece from Vantaa, by now has seen all the corners of the world. After conquering the Helsinki underground scene with their tunes, the world is now ready for a follow up on their debut album. Their new album “Carnival Days” will be released through Frontiers Music s.l.r. on 23 February 2018. Read also our interview with Shiraz Lane, click here to open in other tab.
In our 2017 recap, we deemed that “Harder To Breath”, the first single of the new album, was the best single of 2017. Now, after that great song, we can’t help but wondering if the rest of the album will be in line?
The album kicks of with the title track “Carnival Days”, immediately the first song shows a new Shiraz Lane, more serious, more mature. The sound of “Carnival Days” couldn’t be more of a contrast with their debut album “For Crying Out Loud”. It’s different yes, and they keep the same tone during the whole album. But the change doesn’t mean that that typical Shiraz Lane sound that was there from the beginning and made this band to what they are right now, isn’t still there. “Carnival Days” has an amazing groove to it, that serves as a kick ass start for the album. “The Crown” is heavier, with an awesome melodic riff driving the song forward.
“Harder To Breathe” is still in my opinion the highlight of the album. Everything in that song is just right in its place. The song has many layered details that are very subtle, but just make it more beautiful. It’s vigorous, energetic and the chorus so catchy.
“Tidal Wave” has all the ingredients to also appeal to a broader audience than just us hard rockers, it’s poppier than the rest of the album, but has everything to become the tune we will be stuck in our heads with during the summer. It’s the kind of song that when you’d hear it on your car radio, it would blast through the speakers and you would still turn up the sound.
“Gotta Be Real” shows a different side of the band again (and again that more matured sound), it’s a slower paced song, but it has the same groove and jazz to it that we could find in “Carnival Days”. It kind of has this never give up and very motivational vibe to it, that is not only reflected in the lyrics.
The most touching song however on the album is “Shangri-La”, where Hannes Kett shines in deliver his emotions. The album closes with “Reincarnation”, especially the intro of the song sounds more progressive than any other Shiraz Lane song has ever sounded, the clock that’s ticking is driving the song forward and while you would expect something somehow to explode an a massive, even wild hard rock song to happen, it takes quite a turn, turning it into what I can only call an intriguing and beautiful masterpiece. I have talked a lot about how the band has matured, become something more than what they already were. I think “Reincarnation” is a song that proves that even more for me. While the band has never been scared to tap into influences from other music genres, it becomes more clear now that they created their own sound to it and they are comfortable and passionate to show it to other people. “Reincarnation” is a song that I could listen to on repeat, the whole day. It never becomes boring, it has so many interesting twists and turn, melodic riffs that appeal, vocals that show many aspects of the much talented voice of Hannes Kett and groovy rhythms provided by Joel Alex and Ana Willman.
In general I can already tell that this release is going to be one of the best ones in 2018. I found it an easy album to listen to, there are no filler tracks. The band clearly challenged the more traditional hard rock frameworks and let me tell you. It works! Compositionally and production wise this album is a killer. The production of the album was done by Per Aldeheim and is done masterfully. The album sounds massive and the little details into the songs are marvellous. The lyrics are intriguing and show a lot more depth to them. And yet while there is many surprises in the album, the album is coherent and consistent. There is never a time that I doubted what the band tries to deliver in their own style. For a sophomore album, the band clearly is on the right path towards success!
1. Carnival Days
2. The Crown
3. Harder To Breathe
4. Tidal Wave
5. Gotta Be Real
6. People Like Us
8. War Of Mine
9. Shot Of Life
Frontiers Music s.l.r.
Hannes Kett – lead vocals
Jani Laine – lead guitar
Miki Kalske – rhythm guitar
Joel Alex – bass
Ana Willman – drums