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SHAKE THE TEMPLE ‘Shake The Temple’

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Sliptrick Records

Out Now

Melbourne hard rock outfit Shake The Temple’s self-titled debut album has been a long time coming.

Almost three years in fact.

Much of this was beyond the bands control, but even if it wasn’t it seems that the extended time has only worked in the bands favour.

Opening with debut single Huntsman, which was initially released in late 2018, the opening chords sound beautifully similar to that of Bad Company, a band I grew up listening to and still love to this day.

That soon turns into a wall of guitars that have a nostalgic 1970s and 80s feel, creating enough of an old school time warp to completely transform your musical psyche back to the days when love was free and so was acid.

And that is exactly what Huntsman feels like. A great dose of LSD infused rock with swirling guitars and just the right amount of fuzziness in the mix.

Current single The Devils Approach is led by a quick movie monologue before crushing to life with more up-tempo music that almost has its roots in thrash.

What is stopping the vague comparison from becoming fact is frontman John Joseph’s old school hard rock vocals, equally at home with soaring high notes as he is with a controlled rock sensibility.

The guitars really come into their own on this track, ferociously shredding and masterfully pulling the track into edgier territory.

If You And I Could Make It rips into life on the back of a punishing guitar lick before the rest of the band jump in and place us once more on the hard rock merry-go-round which has been spinning for the better part of four decades.

This is easily the most accessible track so far, but not too accessible that it threatens to become formulaic if that makes sense.

No? You’ll figure it out.

Drums come to the fore on Precious Lover, and by all fuck they do in grand style!

They continue to rumble as Joseph finds the microphone, and the song moves into a chugging and turbulent number that ebbs and flows with each octave of his range.

A beautifully soulful guitar solo three quarters of the way through nicely puts the finishing touches to this eclectic piece of exuberance that showcases the multi layered influences prominent in Shake The Temple’s sound.

Who I Am is hard rock personified. Throwing everything at the wall in the early stages, the track soon clears itself out, levelling to a fast-paced and infectious number that highlights the soaring, almost power metal inspired vocals.

Late Indicator establishes itself as the album ballad by way of an acoustically meandering intro that, if anything, gets even slower from there.

By now you should all know my thoughts on the obligatory ballad so for the sake of fairness lets move on shall we?

Martini could almost be the thinking mans KISS (is that even a thing) and reeks of glam and mass friendly rock.

Not that that’s a bad thing – in fact it makes a welcome change here. The emergence of drums to the fore about half way through triggers a guitar fueled assault that completely changes the complexion of the song without changing the feel.

Nice touch and difficult to pull off!

Driven almost reminds me of a number of bands from the Motley Crue era but elevates itself above that with a combination of thrust and attitude that is more about the music than image. Stand out track for mine…

Album closer Fist Of Love could easily have been the opener, with a hard rocking tempo and early scream that would put hairs on Vince Neil’s chest.

It is a stuttering journey through each of the musical decades visited by Shake The Temple over the course of the album, and if anything hints at a possibly heavier future direction.

Bring it!

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