Shit Happens Inc. (or SHI for short) are a high energy four piece based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Now, I know nothing about Albuquerque except that it was mentioned in the 1978 film 'Convoy' starring Kris Kristofferson (one of my all time favourite films, by the way) but if SHI are representative of the rock scene there, I think I'll be heading over sooner rather than later!
Dubbed "the Number One party band in the South West", this title is well deserved because with '11 Year Itch', what the band have done is to product is 42 minutes of serious heavy rock that just doesn't disappoint in any way, shape or form. The track 'Breaking You Down' for example just oozes quality both musically and lyrically. With its solid bass line from Fito Garza and it's catchy chorus I guarantee that you'll find yourself singing along to it after only a couple of listens.
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Likewise 'Messiah Of Sorrow' is a mid-tempo track which has an incredibly catchy guitar riff stuck right in the middle and Tim Mercy shows his dexterity with a fantastic (if short) guitar solo. Mercy himself has a truly excellent voice and reminds me of a cross between Queensryche vocalist Geoff Tate and Rob Halford from Judas Priest. He's able to hold the notes just long enough without his voice wavering at all and when the backing vocals join him in the chorus', the harmony sound from the whole band is just so in tune and professional, you begin to wonder why no record label has picked these guys up yet.
'Rock N' Roll Junkie' has a definite Motley Crue feel to it, but this is not to the detriment of the band or their talents. Whether this is biographical or just a comment from lyricist Mercy on the use of drugs I'm not sure, but the band produce a solid mid-paced track that culminates with a great guitar solo. 'Gods Of War' uses some great guitar effects before the main riff blasts out of the speakers. Again, with it's simple and catchy chorus, the song is just a masterpiece and even manages to include some sampling from one of Barack Obamas speeches before guitarist Louis Torres shows us what he's capable of - some great guitar solos, pure and simple!
'Crossroads' does slow the pace down a bit but this track is no less heavy with drummer Rene Ramos beating out a ferocious beat which is matched with a great guitar riff. The spoken intro to the track is also unusual but makes for a fantastic beginning to one of the stand out track on the album for me.
For me, my absolute favourite tracks on the album is 'Anthem' which features the unique talents of Hazedawg on vocals. It's not a name I'm familiar with, and a quick internet search reveals nothing much more about the mysterious vocalist, but his contribution to this track is immense. As a fan of Anthrax, I thought that they would be the only band who could successfully fuse rap and Metal together, but 'Anthem' to me is, if not superior to that Anthrax/Public Enemy track 'Bring The Noise', it's not very far behind. A truly amazing track that catapults itself onto my June 2013 playlist.
So if you live in or near Albuquerque, I highly recommend that you find out where these guys are playing next, and go and see them live. If, like me, you couldn't place Albuquerque on a map of the USA, then I suggest you go (NOW!!) and buy a copy of this CD because you will not be disappointed!
Right, I'm off to annoy the neighbours by playing it again - very loudly!
Breaking You Down
Rock N' Roll Junkiev
Messiah of Sorrow
Anthem (featuring Hazedawg)
Gods of War
Tim Mercy – Vocals/Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Fito Garza - Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Louis Torres - Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Rene Ramos - Drums and Backing Vocals
You can catch the band live here:
Friday 31st May - Ned's, Albuquerque, NM, US
Friday 7th June - Malarky's, Albuquerque, NM, US
Saturday 8th June - Malarky's, Albuquerque, NM, US