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Shy: Shy




Brit band SHY has been around for a s long as I can remember. From their Ebony Records debut “Once Bitten …Twice Shy” I followed them closely until 1989´s “Misspent Youth”. The band was on the verge of becoming a household name in 1987, releasing “Excess All Areas” for MCA. That album is the one most people associate them with, a true landmark in the melodic hard rock genre. After their attempt at hair metal in 1989 there was silence until 1994, when they resurfaced with “Welcome to the Madhouse”, now featuring OLIVER/DAWSON SAXON and ex MADAM X vocalist John “Wardi” Ward. They seem to have soldiered on until their less exciting 2005 album “Sunset and Wine”, before attempting to call it a day. Can´t keep a good man down… SHY are back. Still boosting guitarist Steve Harris and almost original bass man Roy Davis, SHY has been settled line-up-wise by drummer Bob Richards (since 2002) and keyboardist Joe Basketts (since 2005). Additional guitars come courtesy of ex member Ian Richardson (SIAM). Most frequent vocalist Tony Mills has departure for TNT and oddball solo albums, vanguarding at the mike stands Lee Smalls. Lee who? Lee surfaced with the PHENOMENA album “Psycho Fantasy” alongside greats like TONY MARTIN. Lee´s contribution was one of the highlights to me, so I guess I´m curious about this one…

At first I thought I´d clicked the wrong MP3. Opener “Land of a Thousand Lies” sends SHY back in time, to an age prior to trying to please in makeup and spandex. The pomp arrangement is nothing short of a rejuvenation. The second track, “So Many Tears” let Lee shine again. Two out of two so far, but the best is yet to come. The album contains the best hard rock that will surface in 2011. Tracks like “Ran Out of Time”, “Only for the Night” and the unusually pomp ambitious “Sanctuary” simply leave me breathless. The less entertaining tracks on this album are all four star material, while the high points are outstanding in the field. The vocals may never sound like they used to again, but I think that should earn them kudos. The copycat factor is low, the music at its peak, alongside “Excess All Areas”, but still new fresh and, unmistakably, SHY! Many bands try their hands at heartbreak and pain, ending up soaked in Melba, but SHY does it in a credible way. They also provide more rocking material like the ace “Blood on the Line” and the guitar extravaganza solo of “Save Me”. I find it hard to believe there will be anyone challenging SHY in 2011. I sincerely wish them nest of luck, and here´s to the next 15 years!

Track List
Land of a Thousand Lies
So Many Tears
Ran Out of Time
Blood On the Line
Only for the Night
Live for Me
Over You
Save Me
Union of Souls

Writer: Mikael Johansson
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