March 22, 2022

I sometimes wonder what the European rock scene would look like without the uncountable bands leased to us from Norway, Sweden and Finland and, for sure, the melodic rock scene would most certainly be smaller and quieter. House Of Shakira is yet another of those essential Swedish rock bands that works hard and furious to bring us exceptional rock albums but normally gets forgotten about when we are discussing the great and good over a couple of drinks in the nearest pub but, thankfully, they are always then when we need a melodic rock pick me up.

Formed in 1991, House of Shakira has put together a pretty formidable series of fine albums and any one of them would be a fine starting point to begin your education into this fine band. Record wise, it all began back in 1997 with the debut album Lint which announced the band in quite spectacular fashion with a killer release that was really well received. They have since followed this up with a number of great albums with the tenth record planned for sometime later in the year.

However, this interesting re-release takes us back to the beginning with another look at Lint but we now have the extended version to play with which features the original album in remastered form and this new cleaned up version sounds so clean, crisp and fresh that it does indeed sound like a brand new album. It is the second disc that will surely raise a few eyebrows. It seems that whilst looking for the old DAT master tapes guitarist Mats Hallstensson also came across the DAT demos which were recorded with the bands original singer Mikael Eriksson (from 1993 to 1995). Of course, he had to remaster these too so what we now have is a special edition of Lint, the 25th anniversary version, with the original album on disc 1 and the demo versions with Mikael Eriksson on CD 2 and how can you not be intrigued and excited by a little piece of band history. Back in those days the band lined up with Andreas Eklund on vocals, Mats Hallstensson on guitar and vocals, Anders Lundström on guitar, Per Schelander on bass and vocals with Tony Andersson on drums.

I’m not sure why Mikael Eriksson actually left the band as he is a great singer as can be seen and heard on this new version of Lint but leave he did with Andreas Eklund coming in and making the position of vocalist his own. Both are great singers with Erikkson having a slightly higher register but both do great credit to the songs on this very enjoyable 25th anniversary album. Musically, the 2nd side may be demos but you would never guess this as all are fully rounded and perfectly performed with just a couple of additions/omissions to the actual album that was released. I guess it is testimony to the band and individual musicians concerned that they were happy for the old recordings to be released especially so in this double CD format where you can actually analyses the differences. However, I suggest you do not waste your time but simply sit back and appreciate both discs from a great band. Hopefully, the new album will be with us shortly but this is a great way to pass the time until then.

Lint XXV

CD 1

  1. Morning Over Morocco (3:31)
  2. Lint (4:06)
  3. Method Of Madness (3:22)
  4. No. 8 (4:09)
  5. Who’s Lying Now (4:30)
  6. Elephant Gun (4:47)
  7. Our Love Was Good (3:56)
  8. The Story The Same (4:28)
  9. Canned Laughter (3:28)
  10. Remember (4:39)
  11. Everything’s Fine (5:31)

CD 2 (Featuring lead vocals by Mikael Eriksson)

  1. Morning Over Morocco (3:33)
  2. Lint (4:08)
  3. Method Of Madness (3:55)
  4. No. 8 (4:59)
  5. Who’s Lying Now (4:12)
  6. Elephant Gun (4:40)
  7. Our Love Was Good (4:28)
  8. The Story The Same (4:34)
  9. Canned Laughter (3:32)
  10. Remember (4:34)
  11. Everything’s Fine (5:00)