Monday, October 12, 2009

Shirock - 'Everything Burns'

On Everything Burns, Shirock occasionally aims for Paramore’s adrenaline-fueled pop rock U2's stupid electronic/arena rock period and The Hush Sound’s lush guy/girl pop classicism, but more often they come off as ham-fisted as The Fray. Co-vocalists Chuck and Pap Shirock have pretty voices and sound great together, even if Charles does slur a bit too obnoxiously at times and tries way too hard to imitate Bono at others, but that doesn’t save the over-the-top stadium band production or limp songwriting. And without any clear cut hooks, these songs won’t even qualify as guilty pleasures. This will be your jam if you love teen dramas.

Maroon 5’s rhythms, Paramore’s adrenaline-fueled pop rock, and late period Straylight Run’s pop structures come to mind as well, though I would never put Shirock on the same angst-ridden level. Everything Burns isn’t necessarily a bad album, and I certainly don’t hate it. But I can, and have, listed bands that have done this style better. While the record has the occasional glint of brilliance – dig the haunting yet danceable “Still Young” and “Say It Out” – for the most part, it’s a sub par go at a sound I’m not particularly enthused about.

But hey, if earnest piano-based ditties with lyrics like “I’ll take love on the bad days / Over no love on the best days” give you a reason to live, so be it. Everything Burns is well-produced, thanks to Jay Ruston, and the packaging, combining images printed on translucent wax paper and regular stock looks pretty cool. It’s clear Shirock is trying, which is commendable. They’re just not getting a whole lot of results out of their efforts.

P.S. – Check out the bio on their MySpace. They’re totally trying to ride President Barack Obama’s coattails.

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