High energy blues rock meets glam metal, complete with a singer Skid Row would be proud to know – Shiraz Lane doesn’t disappoint to bring the noise!
We’ve all heard the classics: Skid Row, Whitesnake, Great White, Steelheart, Guns N’ Roses – the list goes on forever. But very rarely do you ever hear a band that can bring together all the parts that make any one of them great into one cohesive and ass-kicking whole.
Shiraz Lane first formed in 2011 in Vantaa, Finland, but really took off in 2015 when the current lineup came together – and from there they have played alongside such metal mainstays as Halestorm, Behemoth, and Arch Enemy, even hitting the stage representing Finland at Wacken Open Air in 2015.
Their debut album, released in spring of 2016, began life as an EP the year before, and was so well received, in particular for the song “Mental Slavery”, that it propelled them on to a world tour and eventually the album For Crying Out Loud.
The album kicks off with a killer – “Wake Up”, as much an anthem to the masses about the political landscape of the world as a shot of adrenaline that lives up to its name. Both the first song and the title track, “For Crying Out Loud”, show an edgier side of the band not afraid to call out bullshit in society when they see it.
And that’s not at all to take away from the stellar musicianship and soaring vocals in the slightest. The twin guitar attack of Jani Laine and Miki Kalske is textbook perfect trading hooks and licks, and the solos are pure glam metal and blues rock gold. In particular for the trained ear, there are subtle nods to the greats before them, such as the Whitesnake and Skid Row feel at the beginning of “Mental Slavery” or the whammy bar acrobatics at the end of the solo of “For Crying Out Loud.”
Whether you’re a die-hard metalhead, a blues guy, or a fan of operatic vocals and soaring guitar solos, there’s something for everyone on For Crying Out Loud.
My personal nods go to “Wake Up”, “Mental Slavery”, “For Crying Out Loud”, and the swaggering challenge “Momma’s Boy”.
If there is any downside to all this over the top riffage and ear shattering vocal onslaught, it’s that the album almost feels like it’s trying to be too many things to too many people. In true glam metal style, there is an obligatory ballad, and the auditory distance between a screamer like “Wake Up” and a Cinderella-esque blues tune like “Behind The 8 Ball” might be too great a stretch for some.
Personally, I see it as a diverse and inclusive skill set, and one more tool in the arsenal of an exceptional up and coming group of musicians and performers who have the Skid Row feel and swagger refined to a razor’s edge.
Genres be damned, amps cranked to 11, and make those eardrums bleed! \m/
Shiraz Lane are:
- Hannes Kett – Lead Vocals
- Jani Laine – Lead Guitar
- Miki Kalske – Rhythm Guitar
- Joel Alex – Bass
- Ana Willman – Drums