Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shearer: Monument

     Straight off the bat, this is quite possibly the greatest free album ever created. Forged in Berlin by the krautrock quartet Shearer, this thirteen track monster can be downloaded from their Jamendo page.
Self-proclaimed non-copyright artists, these guys epitomise punk rock, with their wish to make music available to as many people as possible.
     At first glance, I thought I would be in for another bout with screaming vocals, but the frontman of Shearer actually has a voice, which matches the rock beat, guitar and drum melodies perfectly. This album has a raw, down-to-earth passion which I feel is lost to most of today's rock artists. Having said that, I feel that this band wears it's influences on it's sleeve. From the very start of the album, I got the feeling that Shearer listens to a lot of Foo Fighters, from the vocals to the way the drums back them. But then, they do it well, and I eventually came back to the question, can you ever get too much of a good thing? In this case, no, I don't think you can...
     This album isn't a blind rage of drums and vocals though, however good they are. Shearer have a great variety to their sound that I love. The third track introduces reverb covered vocals, and the penultimate song has a brilliant sampled news-reader at the beginning and end, which ties the track together nicely. The stand-out track 'Come On', a rock-ballad of sorts, really brings out the singer's voice, as well as the band's musical diversity. The rest of the album is equally good, apart from the fourth track, which I didn't notice at all during my listen-through, and after realising and playing back, found boring and monotonous.
     Overall though, this is a gem of an album. The guitar playing and drums are brilliant, and the lyrics feel well-written. The band doesn't feel stuck up or arrogant in the way they play either. Like I said before, there is a definite down-to-earth feel to these guys, which I feel I can relate to. This makes the music even better in my opinion. The vocals are great, and were not in any way what I expected. There is a softness to his voice which adds variety to the rock roaring that is prominent throughout, though equally impressive.
     If you want an indie rock record with that little bit more, then definitely try this out, and it's free, so what have you got to lose? If you like the Foo Fighter, then you'll almost immediately hear the similarity between their sound and this, and hopefully enjoy it. A near perfect album for me, I promise you this will be on repeat quite a lot this year!