Shakra - High Noon

Shakra High Noon cover
High Noon
AFM Records
If I were in Shakra, I‘d really try to figure out what the hell is going on. They must be on their tenth album or so and after changing their singer a couple of albums ago and trying to downplay the fact and probably failing to do so and sustain interest they switch back to their best known singer Mark Fox, a second rate and hoarser Steve Lee sound-alike, which in retrospect ain’t such a bad move, but makes you wonder why they parted ways with him to begin with.
The whole “now or never” / YOLO/ Sieze the day attitude is really “not working”. If you‘ve taken it up to a point within 10 albums, you‘re unlikely to pull a rabbit out of the hat, this late into your career. It’s probably got to do with the second rate songwriting and not the performances or singer though. While Gotthard were at best volatile and inconsistent and had their ups and downs they managed to really have some “hit singles” that really made them mega successful. Shakra, not really… even though they seem to be more consistent, they cannot rise above mediocre to good enough…
“Hello” is an anthemic ditto of an opener that feels like a bad take on HMK crossed with Gotthard, only louder and brassier, while the title track despite being “deeper”, it ain’t exactly able to sink its hooks into one’s memory.
“Into Your Heart” fares much better, all fast paced and jivey as it were, but “Around the World” in trying to get heavier and louder, sort of spoils that euphoria with some bittersweet mid-tempo waltzing around.
“Eye to Eye” drops the ball, while still being jive-y, but again it’s a second rate funky Gott moment that ain’t got nothing on the real deal.
“Is It Real” raises the tempo, but not the “temperature”.
“Life’s What You Need” is a ballad that really sounds lika a bad copy-cat of “Heaven”, by you know who.
“The Storm” is quite OK, mainly because of its decent chorus.
While “Raise Your Hands” almost manages to scrape the surface of what might have been a good G/Single…. but just the surface and it does again feel derivative.
“Stand Tall” feels like another facsimile of a number of Shakra or G songs, generic as they come. Some might argue that its identity and character, but I’d say it mostly the lack of ability to do something grandiose and completely original, although I must say that I did enjoy the muffled solo… oh and here’s where I should complain about how compressed and down-tuned this whole thing is. Quite a bit, that is…
“Watch Me Burn” is another slow-burning rock ‘n roller that hardly convinces, but … “Wild and Hungry” that closes the album ain’t all that bad, more energetic and focused than a number of songs before it.
It’s a bit of a mystery to me, why Bonfire didn’t ask the old Fox” to join them when they did go separate ways with Klaus L… since Shakra are still on this album what they’ve almost always been a second or third rate Gotthard/Bonfire sort of hybrid. They do sound “hungry” but not all that “wild” I‘d say…