All you really need to know about the self-titled release Shields from Shields is that it is straightforward rock and roll filled with arena rock anthems. It’s really that simple. Well what kind of arena rock you ask? It falls in line with ‘80s metal ranging from Guns ‘N’ Roses, Motley Crue, Van Halen and Poison. I can clearly picture a packed arena with some girl on some guy’s shoulders while listening to the music.
Shields is actually a solo project for Christian Shields who obviously wrote the songs but also sings and plays guitar and bass on the record. He did recruit Michael James (lead guitar) and Andrew Lima (drums) to help support his songs. Shields is a pretty solid effort. Shields makes music that feels so unpretentious it’s hard for me to find fault. It’s obvious from his delivery that this is the music he makes to make and has a passion for. With that said the EP isn’t perfect and there were some things I felt he did better than others.
He starts it on the right way with “Raise 'Em Up,” which will certainly raise the energy in the room. The song’s lyrics outline how to have a good time as Shields sings, “Raise ‘em up / Put ‘em up in the air / Put ‘em up oh yeah, have a drink on us.” The good times continue to roll on with “Can’t Get Enough,” which certainly has some influence from Van Halen.
The third track “By The Strings” was more of an 80’s ballad and reminded me of the Scorpions. Shields’ voice sounds completely different here and not necessarily for the better. During the verse it sounded too dry and could have benefitted from a bit more reverb and a conservative amount of auto tune. Shields closes with a certified anthem entitled “Off The Track.” The vocal melody is infectious and familiar while the lead guitar work is impressive.
Overall, Shields has some missteps but it was an enjoyable listen. If you are tired of listening to your hard rock cd’s from 1986 and want something new you’ll want to give this a spin.
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