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The Shazam | Tomorrow The World (Not Lame)
Two years on from their last release, the mini-album 'Rev 9' and just a matter of months since surviving a serious, though fortunately not injurious road accident, involving their tour bus, The Shazam are back. And how!

Electing for a much less embellished and stripped back approach to their craft than on previous outings, the results here make for a thrilling pop ride.  Despite a more deliberate emphasis on the band's energy than before, the undeniably high-octane levels are never employed at the expense of the tunes. Produced as before by fellow Nashvillian Brad Jones, the pared down 'needles-in-the red' mix adopted this time works a treat. The vocal are up-front, the drums thunder and crash relentlessly, the riffs more incisive and effective than ever before. If ever an album screamed play loud this is it! But should anyone begin to think otherwise, this is still very much a pop album. But real power pop, the way The Who played it circa 1966, when the term was first coined.

Shazam leader, Hans Rotenberry has never made a secret of his Anglophile tendencies when it comes to his musical influences and it's not too hard to detect The Move, The Kinks and The Beatles in his songs, but he's also infused the band's re-energised direction this time with some glam rock and the sheer audacity of 70s US stadium stalwarts like Kiss and Cheap Trick. True, it still mightn't sound all that original and probably isn't, but 'Tomorrow The World' is an undeniably raw, exciting and hugely enjoyable record. Pop music this thrilling, doesn't come around nearly often enough anymore. Throw in some phasing, stacks of reverb and titles like 50 Foot Rock (Rockin' And Rollin' (With My) Rock 'N' Roll Rock 'N' Roller)... well it might sound like a dumb proposition, but frankly it's hard to think of any higher recommendation!

Geraint Jones
December 2002