(2020) Shiraz Lane: Vibration I EP

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Artist: Shiraz Lane
Album: Vibration I EP
Release: 17.01.2019
Label: Ranka Kustannus

 

The boys from Shiraz Lane have clearly been hard at work! Having released their sophomore album, Carnival Days, in 2018, they’ve returned once more with a new EP: Vibration I. We, of course, have many questions, most important of which is “will there be a Vibration II at some point?” Nevertheless, knowing this EP is host to a few songs we’ve already heard, we were excited to give it a spin.

 

Vibration I opens with “Keep it Alive,” which feels like a pretty traditional Shiraz Lane, if these guys can have a traditional sound so early in their career. These guys have some of the most fun singalong parts in their music, be they for the band or the crowd, and Hannes Kett has such style and flare when he belts it out. The chorus is so easy to sing along with and just leaves you feeling good.

“Do You” felt familiar, which makes sense as it was the single that came out towards the end of 2019 that I had listened to and enjoyed a few times, but then strangely forgot. Giving the song a bit more attention, I enjoy it’s very positive vibe and upper-mid-tempo beat. It’s not a hard-hitting party song, but also doesn’t need to be to get its message across.

“Revolution” is likewise a song title that I would’ve expected to be really fast-paced, but this one definitely fits more into the funky/groovy mid-tempo category as well. It has a really good feel to it, with a very 70s hippy “stick it to the man” flare but without any real aggression, making it a song of both protest and peace, which I personally love (though angry protest songs also have their time and place).

The last original track is “You Will Remain,” which is maybe the most impressive composition of them all, sounding like a classic rock song, yet fresh and new, not too derivative nor sounding too much like any other band. It shows off all the best sides of their sound and doesn’t need to use super poppy techniques to be catchy.

The last track is their cover of Savage Garden‘s 1996 hit, “To the Moon and Back,” a song I had more or less forgotten existed. Shiraz Lane’s iteration is everything a cover needs to be – it’s catchy, it maintains the soul of the original, but also builds on it and adds the band’s own flavor to the sound. Hearing it at Nosturi at the end of 2019 during the Best Tour Ever, we can attest to it being a great live song as well.

 

If bands keep releasing EPs like this between albums, I certainly won’t be complaining. Especially in this modern digital era, having a full album isn’t always necessary, and this EP proved to be a nice little treat at the beginning of the year when new music is a bit more sparse, helping set a good aural mood for 2020! I listen to a lot of high energy music and love it, and Shiraz Lane offers a different kind of energy that’s powered less by high tempos and aggression and more by funk and peace & love, which surprised me by appealing to me more than I would have expected. This world needs a lot of fight to fix the wrongs out there, but it’s good to make sure there’s still music to help people chill out after all that fighting.

Rating: 9/10, 4.5 stars

Tracklist:
1. Keep it Alive
2. Do You
3. Revolution
4. You Will Remain
5. To the Moon and Back (Savage Garden cover)

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