July 18, 2023

House Of Shakira is yet another slick melodic rock band from Sweden that has been around since 1991 when it was formed by the guitarists Mats Hallstensson and Anders Lundström initially under the name of The Station with their debut album Lint coming out in 1997. They have had a very solid career and have regularly released very listenable, exciting melodic rock albums with superb vocals from Andreas Novak with a major component of the core sound being the sumptuous vocal harmonious throughout that calls to mind those halcyon AOR days of the 1980s.

House Of Shakira is currently on a rather special run of form with Radiocarbon from 2019 showing that they continue to grow and develop as a band and are rapidly becoming an essential outfit that people really ought to check out especially if slick and well-defined AOR is your genre of choice. Interestingly, the band followed this record last year with the 25th Anniversary reissue of the debut album which was a neat, expanded set and showed that they were a class filled act right from the very beginning. If you are a fan then you ought to check out this remastered version as it comes with an additional CD of demos which feature the original vocalist Mikael Eriksson which really makes this an exceptional package.

XIT is now the bands 10th album and takes on and develops the good work began with Radiocarbon so what we have here are 11 tracks of liquid gold and all in that glorious, radio friend time frame of 3 to 4-minutes which shows they are masters at telling a story and delivering it perfectly allowing them to move on to the next song allowing the material to hit you like a musical tsunami. The only exception is the 6-minute album closing track which sees the band cranking up the power ballad format and laying down some stunning guitar in the process making this a slow, burning song that thrills to the core. 

Andreas Novak leads the band perfectly and shares great harmonies with the vocals of Mats Hallstensson who also complete a sublime twin-guitar attack with Anders Lundström. Bassist Per Schelander also provides vocals and all three combine to give a vocal harmony masterclass and then we have Martin Larsson who keeps the beat incessant and up-tempo. Everything is delivered in a deliberate but enticingly understated way and their sheer professionalism draws you in and you soon find that the material comfortably sounds like an old friend.

House Of Shakira’s expertsise in producing sublime melodic rock and always deliver the goods with XIT showing that they still remain on an upward trajectory.

XIT

  1. Something In The Water (4:33)
  2. No Silver Lining (4:20)
  3. Toxic Train (4:28)
  4. Your Exit (3:29)
  5. Too Much Love (3:27)
  6. The Messenger (3:26)
  7. Twisted Attitude (3:30)
  8. Nowhere Bound (3:10)
  9. Chimera (3:40)
  10. Hell Or Heaven (3:34)
  11. Xit (5:59)