Everything Burns

Written by: PP on 09/02/2009 18:23:21

Nashville, Tennesee based Shirock's debut album "Everything Burns" comes with a hard plastic sleeve enclosing the CD with a quote printed in golden, friendly letters saying: "It's been said there's only two ways to live. You can either love things and use people, or you can love people and use things...I've made my choice, I'm going to love people and use things...People they last forever...everything else just burns." While that's a great message and all, Shirock has clearly forgotten that if you throw a man into an active volcano, he too will burn. Sorry, I couldn't resist. Seriously though, philanthropic ideas such as that one are the theme of the album, and it's always refreshing to hear a band sing about positive stuff considering the majority of the band's sing about broken hearts (emo), corrupt politics (punk) or about a generally misanthropic view on life (metal).

As you may have already guessed, Shirock don't belong to any of those categories. The easy way to put it is to say that they sound almost exactly like "Parachutes"-era Coldplay with a pinch of Band Of Horses in their music. In other words, Shirock play extremely ambitious pop rock that relies on gentle piano melodies and bombastic vocal delivery. While there's an infinite number of ways that approach can go wrong (latest Coldplay anyone?), "Everything Burns" succeeds in almost every aspect, essentially proving to be the Coldplay album that was never written after "A Rush Of Blood To The Head". Well okay, Shirock aren't exactly a carbon copy of said band, but you can't escape the comparisons when your sound is constructed out of the very elements that made Coldplay famous. Take the main vocalist, for instance, who is easily confused with Chris Martin throughout the album, but especially on "Time Goes By", where the vocal melodies are pretty much quintessential "Parachutes"-era Coldplay. What sets these guys apart though is that although they have similar classical piano on the background leading the melodies forward, the guitars are often much more ballsy and, dare I say it, heavier, leaning more into the alt rock territory in places. Honestly though, you can't avoid mentioning here too that Shirock's songs are also driven by stupendously spacey vocals and the aforementioned piano melodies more than slick guitar playing. But hey, when it sounds this good and recent Coldplay doesnt, does anyone even care?

Additionally, vocalist Chuck shares his vocal duties with Pap (Ed. note: female name), who often adds a nice silky contrast to his dominating voice during choruses. She has her own songs, too, such as the magnificent "I'll Take Rain" that reminds me a little bit of Copeland's softest material. Her lyrics about love here are nothing short of brilliant, so I'll just share them with you: "I'll take love on the bad days over no love on the best days [...] I'll take rain on my Sundays, if you stay on the worst days" - whoah, they still give me back chills even as I'm just writing them down. The best thing is that there are plenty more of those moments where they came from, and one must congratulate the band for being able to write lyrics that are so simple but so meaningful and convey so much emotion at the same time.

In summary, "Everything Burns" is the album Coldplay should've written a few years back instead of the so-so "X&Y". The album highlights "I'll Take Rain", "New Solution", "Time Goes By", and especially the centerpiece title track (and the intro leading up to it) "Everything Burns" are magnificent pop rock slaps to the very meaning of that word, and the rest of the song's keep the quality bar high as well. If these guys get recognized by the mainstream media anytime soon, you can expect to hear the name Shirock everywhere within the next couple of years. Lets hope they have a better sense of writing follow-ups than Coldplay did.


Download: I'll Take Rain, Everything Burns, Time Goes By
For the fans of: Coldplay, Band Of Horses
Listen: Myspace

Release date 03.02.2009

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