Shو? - I Don't Wanna Go EP [Review]

Genre: Alternative Rock

Label: Self-released

Reviewer: Spiritcrusher

The past few weeks have been stressful to the point where I’m not just going to lose the hair on my head, but my ponytail is probably going to just fall right off. I was told to review a band called Shو? from Dubai, and I was impressed!

Shو? is a band that consists of two members. Zara Quiroga sings and Rizal Khan plays the guitar. I am not sure who records drums and bass on the EP, but I’m sure they have session members, because they’ve played many live gigs, and supposedly have a show in Malaysia on the 30th of December!

It was very refreshing to listen to a band that incorporates various genres to the extent where all you could really ask yourself is, “Shو hayda?!”. I hear elements of rock, punk, funk, ska, jazz, and even some metal in there! It really is a fresh sound. This is all evident on their four-track EP, “I Don’t Wanna Go”.

The EP opens up with their self-titled track, “SHO?”. When the music first hit me, I got a very similar vibe to Audioslave and Hole. Zara’s voice is really great, and I like the build up from the verse to the chorus with the instruments. The verse reminded me a little bit of Audioslave’s Like a Stone, but builds up to a louder chorus! Rizal is also a fantastic guitarist! His solo was well phrased and nailed some nice tapping. Towards the end, he has a great lick where he uses what sounds like a Digitech Whammy Pedal. I’m sorry, that’s just the guitarist in me trying to figure things out. All in all, it’s a great and really catchy opener, which I think any rock fan would enjoy.

Their next track, “Crash”, really blew me away. That song really shows the diversity, versatility, and the creativity of the band. To prepare a track like “Crash”, you must have a few cups of metal, a dash of punk, and a few ounces of ska. It really is what it is! The track opens up with a heavy riff and transitions smoothly into a chill ska/reggae influenced verse. It then transforms into a heavier pre-chorus and an upbeat modern punk-sounding chorus. It’s just brilliant! I really have to tip my hat off to Rizal and Zara on this one!

Everyone in the UAE reading this review, you’ll definitely know what the next track refers to; “Phride”. To those who don’t know, Phride was a music forum based in the UAE that was incredibly active for quite a while. Based on my experience there, it really was a festival of trolls. I don’t know the story behind this song; although the lyrics really show that there is some remorse or anger towards some of the trolls that were on Phride, back when it was still online. The music isn’t as dynamic as “Crash”, but it’s another catchy song, which I’m sure the fans will probably enjoy singing along with. I’m sure that Zara and Rizal both imagine opening up for a huge crowd singing along to “Do me a favor and shut up”! In the breakdown/interlude of the song, I have to credit Zara for her singing solo! It sounded like she was breaking out into a more oriental/Middle Eastern tenor and I thought it was really nice!

Winter” is the last track on the album, and opens up with what sounds like an 8 string guitar. The bands that come to mind are The Cranberries, Tool, and As I Lay Dying. The riffs are really heavy and Rizal is chugging them away. The drums aren’t as metal oriented most of the time, but I liked how you can notice the different influences. You had some typical alternate rock drum patterns in the verse, a double-bass influence in the chorus and the breakdown, and even some off-beat parts that sound like something you’d find in a ska song. Zara’s voice is as powerful as ever, with strong dynamics to say the least! I have to say this is my personal favorite song of the release!

The EP ends after 17:32 minutes with the sound of a thunderstorm and pouring rain.

Final words:

I am in awe. This is one of the best things to come out of Dubai in a very long time. Many bands try to be creative by adding lots of different genres, but end up sounding like “Seventh Church of the Apocalyptic Lawnmower” (Great music until they go into some really bad midi-brass ska part in the middle) MY POINT IS, these guys really incorporate ska, metal, rock, funk, and more into their songs. They have a nice balance hard-hitting and soft music, and Zara’s voice is as versatile as ever. You can really tell that both Rizal and Zara love music of all sorts, and have found the right way to have all these things put in together! I heard that they are releasing a new EP in 2011, and I cannot wait to listen to it!

I just want to hear a full length, and I want hear them go for something that’s just not catchy, because based on their versatility and talent, I think it’d be neat to hear a longer track. I guess if they were Guns N’Roses, it would be their “November Rain”! Otherwise, I can see these guys going really far! I just hope the general audience today has a musical depth and appreciation deeper than a bathroom sink!

I give “I Don’t Wanna Go” a rating of 8.5/10

It’s really that simple.

Visit SHO? on:
Official Site

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