With a modernized soundscape and a couple of new members.
This is the English version of my original blog post about Shatoo's return to the spotlight; http://slettjord.opelwerk.com/meninger/vismening/19/
Let's start with a few pertinent URLS.
The single: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAQKtn7AKR4
The facebook site: http://www.facebook.com/officialshatoo?fref=ts
I am old enough to not only remember when Shatoo where on top of the world, I participated in their world dominion and I carry the memories and their music with me. Every now and then these last few years I've dusted down the music from its digital shelf, enjoying the old nostalgia and downright excellent music including, but not limited to, hits like Dangertown, Overload og Santorini. I shall not dwell with the past but for a reference to their place in the heritage of Norwegian music, where they have their rightfully earned position or mark, if you will, whether one likes it or not.
Why wouldn't one like to recognize Shatoo and their part of Norwegian musical heritage? Give them due credit? Excellent question!
Some people think you have to walk in the musical realms of Dylan or Springsteen, or be as obsessed with dark figures and hell on earth and soul as Tool or Midnight Choir, musically at least, or you just ain't a real musician. Well, be it as it may, you might be a musician, but you aren't in it for the right reasons, you are sacrificing artistical and musical integrity for the thrill of the almighty dollar.
Duh, crapola and a solid dose of pish posh! Me, personally, I tune in to Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey or Shakira, White Lion or Bon Jovi (up to and counting with These Days, which was their last studio album worth a damn) just as soon as I tune into Coal Chamber, Tristania, Dimmu Borgir, Kent, Seigmen, Midnight Choir, Broder Daniel, Ljungblut or whatever (A lot of Scandinavian artists there, I don't expect all of those names to be known to the general audience of Shatoo at large). It all depends on what mood I'm in at the time of wanting some tunes to soothe my ears.
Good music is good music regardless of the artists' name or what god damned genre people want to put the artists and their music in. As long as the music gives me something, I don't give a rat's ass or a fisherman's friend whether or not the music is commercially geared or 'shallow'. Whatever.
I'm not saying that Shatoo's music falls under any of the abovementioned derogatory descriptions, but I feel with a fair amount of certainty that many 'experts' out there will have a hard time touching their new single even with a ten foot pole, even if the princess and half the kingdom came with the purchase of it.
Well, well, well, on with the show!!
The modern day Shatoo is a little different from the teenage band they were back in the day, as would be expected. More techno and a more modern sound package and some toppings. This is good, plenty good. However, without a core of quality to the material, no amount of icing on the cake can lift crap music up to a decent level.
So, it is with great pleasure I can announce that the material suffices, by miles. Throw the new, modern stuff on top of the core foundation and you got yourself a sweet deal, a nifty spectacle.
Nothing that I wouldn't do is the title of the new single. It is a testament of sorts, of wear and tear, shattered illusions, hitting the wall, ups and downs and fighting spirit. If one is to interpet the lyrics.
It is easy to fall into the trap of interpeting the lyrics as a shallow attempt and description of a man or a band trying to reclaim world dominion. There might be an ounce of truth to the literal interpetation, but I feel dead certain that all of those direct remarks are metaphors of a deeper meaning, quite possible on a personal level.
Now, let's dwell on the song for a wee stretch.
I thought it would be a little too light, as it slipped right into my ears on the first play. The promo video is a bit cheesy too, so I was more than a little sceptical as to how long the song would endure repeated plays. Well, first of all, I don't watch the video every time I listen to the song, I use Spotify and my home stereo system, which plays it ever so wickedly, with Cerwin Vega monsters in my living room. Secondly ... Eh, I think I did some bad math. There is no second point to this particular part of my blog post ;)
The song might be a little light for all I know, for others, but for me, it still is as fresh and enjoyable after 20+ plays as after the first play.
Cheerful tune with lyrics that spans from gloom to positive. The lyrics might not be as soul-wretching as Al DeLoner's (another Norwegian artist I won't expect foreign followers of Shatoo to be acquainted with) magical tales of personal hell from both his band careers (Midnight Choir and Transfigured Night) and solo project. But it is more than enough heart-felt and heart-meant stuff, delivered in an honest way.
Then along came the remixes, which I usually steer way clear of, as I feel they rarely add to the experience, in fact, I find that remixes tend to distort and destroy the original work of art. Not so for these remixes. They are all fine and well done, but I want to especially applaud two of them in particular.
Technomancer's remix, track number 3, alters the sound picture, if that's a legal term, from upbeat and positive to a more sinister and 'dark' experience which does the already excellent song a lot of good. What we have here, is failure to communicate. No, sorry for the Guns'n Roses reference there. What we now got is one version, the original, for those that want a happy tune and one, the Technomancer remix, that will possibly appeal a little bit more to those amongst us that feels depressive-sounding music can lift one's spirit just as much as a feelgood-inspired tune, like me.
I feel there's a certain amount of Apoptygma Berzerk-ish sound to the Technomancer remix, which is odd, because none of the two executive producers that are both in the band and well, duuuh, producers, with background from the world-known sensation also known as Apop, have had much to do with this particular remix, or so they say at least :P
Neveryoumind, it works no matter if it is inspired or not, so, there!
Laboratory 5's remix is somewhat of an orgasmic sensation to the auditory organs. Some ways out, the climax comes knocking like a troll with a grudge. And it repeats itself every time the refrain is due. When I first heard the dubsteps in this remix I was left with a pleasing but also disturbing urge to check if bodily fluids had emerged from my private parts. The exact same feeling I experienced when I first heard Skrillex' Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites. Or as one youtube comment on said Skrillex song reads; This is the music that Transformers jerk off to!
There's a nifty remix of the old Släger Dangertown as the last track on this 6-track release. The band has expressed concerns about eh, then I can't remember the rest of the lyrics of the song I was attempting to quote, if the remix would take away from the original sound of their massive hit or not. In my opinion, the remix has maintained the original feel and then added a little salt and pepper and mayhap a little sweet and sour too. Excellent remix if all those gastronomical metaphors eluded all three of my blog followers :P
If you search out Shatoo in Spotify, you'll find another remix of Dangertown which also holds excellency. The ballad version.
That's a wrap and a candle. I am hoping for more singles and eventually a brand new studio album from these guys!