Balance And Composure
UnderWerket, Copenhagen, DEN - 21/10
Written by: PP on 14/08/2012 17:57:56
Shinedown's 4th album "Amaryllis" sees the band continue exactly where they left off on their previous album "The Sound Of Madness" from 2008, which is where both they and their American brethren have spent their entire existence. Whether it's Nickelback, Default, Breaking Benjamin or indeed Shinedown, the band names seem to be almost completely interchangeable within mainstream/modern hard rock, because in reality they all share the same sound with some minor alterations.
In Shinedown's instance, the difference is the usage of funky guitar distortion that lends itself nicely for groove-oriented riffs that sound a great deal like something CKY or Fu Manchu could've written during their more stoner rock oriented albums. But otherwise, "Amaryllis" follows the same tried-and-tested post-grunge formula as Nickelback: hard-hitting riffs with massive hooks, which are complemented with huge, anthemic choruses and generally a dumbed-down approach to songwriting. It's a very formulaic verse-chorus-verse-chorus style, one that by design dominates the Billboard Modern Rock chart because of its inherent simplicity and ease-of-access for new listeners.
That doesn't necessarily mean that "Amaryllis" is a bad album by any means - just that its ambitions aren't farther than catchy choruses and big riffs. It's difficult to deny the powerful, high-flying chorus of "Bully", which is arguably better than any Nickelback song in the last 6-7 years, or the softer, more pop-rock oriented "Unity" which is just super catchy by its nature. In between the hit singles you find the usual scenario of samey sounding filler material as is typical for the bands in this style of music, although Shinedown are slightly better also in this department than many of their generic peers. I don't think I need to say more about "Amaryllis" - it's a solid hard rock album with a very mainstream, commercial sound, and as long as you're into that sort of thing, you can expect to lap this up easily.
Download: Bully, Unity
For the fans of: Nickelback, Hinder, Seether, CKY
Release date 27.03.2012
Atlantic / Roadrunner Records