Between Guitar Hero and Rock Band, Shaimus has forcibly (but legally) entered the homes of millions of people around the world. The Los Angeles-based rock band's song "Like a Fool"; has lit a fire under plastic instrument-wielding rockers everywhere as a free download for Rock Band 2; the tune also helps to usher in the next phase of Shaimus music with their second album, The Sad Thing Is, We Like It Here a record that showcases the band's knack for memorable hooks, soulful vocals and intricate-yet-somehow-tasteful playing.
Holing themselves up for most of 2008, Shaimus painstakingly crafted a sophomore record that would define the sound of a band coming into its own (this time minus the food bank but adding a bathroom, a closet and The Record Plant). The result was 2009's The Sad Thing Is, We Like It Here (and a sold-out CD release party), with themes of morality, mundanity and generational impassivity, plus the standard serving of love and ire that accompany most quality music. It was just one more step toward the band's single, modest goal: total world domination.
In addition to their two video game appearances, Shaimus has been played on indie and mainstream radio, licensed their music to MTV, become International Songwriting Competition semi-finalists, had songs placed in television shows such as One Tree Hill, appeared in the Sony/Screengems film The Roommate, signed a Friends Deal with MySpace Records, and had tens of thousands of music sales all without the help of a record label.
"The Sad Thing Is, We Like It Here" was a pleasure to listen to and the band took me on a hell of a ride through different musical genres and a wide range of diverse talent. Their sound is original, the musicians are obviously talented, and the singer's voice will forever be with me. Not only are the songs themselves amazing, but the overall sound quality of the album is exceptional.
As soon as I hit play, I was treated to a catchy rhythm. Melodic guitar work, strong on the piano, and then the singer introduces us to the band Shaimus. His voice makes me think of the singer from Coldplay. I enjoy the lyrics as well. "Interview" is an excellent song to open this album with.
"Turn the Other Way" is a snappy number with a beat that makes me want bounce. Shaimus does a fantastic job showcasing the vocals and the band s diverse playing. The transitions are smooth and seamless and the production is exceptional.
"All the Good Ways" starts off with a haunting guitar melody. It's a rather positive and optimistic tune that makes me feel good. I am becoming convinced that this band is on the brink of breaking into mainstream music and becoming a household name. "All the Good Ways" should clearly be their first single.
"Tie You Down" picks up the pace again and does a great job highlighting the musical talent of this band. The vocals are great, but this piece allows the listener to understand just how talented the musicians in Shaimus are. The band does a phenomenal job blending the different layers and sounds of Tie You Down into a masterpiece of musical genius that is guaranteed to please even the pickiest of listeners.
A tropical guitar lick and some nice piano work begin the next song, "Heads or Tails." This song comes at the halfway point, and the listener is intrigued by the mellow reggae-esque feel and begins to wonder what other sort of tricks Shaimus has up their sleeves.
"Don t Want the Story" is heavier, yet just as melodic with a beat that grooves. The lyrics are good too, and I am becoming enamored with the singer's voice. This track really gives the listener a solid dose of what the singer can do.
"Let Go" is a welcome change. The melancholy piano notes at the beginning of this song certainly move something inside me. The rest of the instruments come into play as this track unfolds, but the piano is essential to this piece and Shaimus does a wonderful job of not making it too obvious and not making it muddy beneath the other layers. "Let Go" also has some rather deep lyrics.
Shaimus gave us their soft side in the previous track, and now they give us their gritty side in "Like a Fool." There is a jazzy, bluesy vibe to this one. Everyone is in synch, there is not one missed note or beat, and the singer gives us balls to the wall wailing while still maintaining his signature melodic style. "Like a Fool" is quite possibly the most intricate track on the album, and Shaimus does it well.
"While We re Young" takes it down a notch. The guitar in this piece is addictive. This is a slow song and I get a sense of mourning while listening to this one, but Shaimus isn't about to let us cry in our beer. The upbeat rhythm brings us out of our reverie and keeps us from going too deep inside ourselves. It may be a melancholy song, but I begin to feel energized and optimistic towards the end.
The final song of the album is called "Stuck Around". "Stuck Around" has a bit of a retro vibe to it that makes me want to swirl around in a poodle skirt and saddle shoes. The guitar completely rocks, the vocals are great, and the song is polished and well done.--ReviewYou