Hear The Track Here
Although Billy Shake is a new name to me, one of the members of this duo certainly isn't. Billy Shake is lyricist/songwriter George Simpson and producer/songwriter Steven Mesropian (who requested the review) and Crashing Down, an eleven track CD recorded at Steven Mesropian's Musicmez studio. Now Mez, as he's known, is also a member of Those Among Us whose contribution to these reviews has always been warmly recieved so it goes without saying that I was interested in seeing what this was about. Mez's main role in Those Among Us is that of vocalist and this is one of the major draws of the band, he has a great rock voice.
Not that it's going to be much in evidence on this CD mind, because Mez's role here is all the music and production, harmonies, and lead vocals on one song Stronger Word. All the rest of the tracks are sung by George Simpson, who does a more than capable job of it, aided by some really. really good songs. Take a listen, for instance, to Big City Dreams (one of my favourites), it's complex, but still packing a serious rock punch and a style that is part Clash and part Lou Reed. I know, I know, wild comparison sure enough but you have to hear it to know what I mean. Certainly the first three tracks of the CD should convince even the heaviest doubter among you that these are skilled songwriters.
Spring Heel Jack (a nickname for Jack The Ripper) is a great rock workout in the time honoured classic tradition and remind me in some ways of the Who in their poppier moments. Draw The Line, on the other hand is definitely American in feel and tone and is a beautifully produced acoustic rock number that I know John Brandon (also from Those Among Us) would have loved to write. Rather than go through every track (they are all as good) just think, here is a forty+ minute rock experience that shows there is life in the classic rock song. Don't believe me, then one last track to savour I think... It's called Down The Road and - for me - it's the absolute standout track; a blend of Americana and rock that warms me on this cold winters day...
MUST HAVE rock pop (with terrific songs to boot)