Don’t be fooled by the public image of Mr Shiraz – yes they like a laugh and are as interested in comedy as they are music, but the six tracks that make up ’21 Grams’ are seriously good. Packed with references to cinema from the ‘80s and ‘90s, the title track sharing the name of a hard-hitting Sean Penn film, Mickey Shiraz recognizes the importance of popular culture in a person’s development and goes out of his way to reference it in the hot rocking tracks on offer here.
The medium-paced hard punky pop of ‘21 Grams’ opens things up with a bluesy riff and a hooky shout-along chorus; cool track. ‘Bill and Ted’ is a little punkier, thrashing about with some great interplay between the guitars, as they work a number of different riffs into its excellent adventure.
There’s a nice variety to their tunes, ‘Breakfast Club’ having a bouncy bass groove and rough edged vocals, while ‘Gleaming The Cube’ sounds different; it’s less punky, but more intense as they rock the hook to the finish. ‘Cusack’ meanwhile, has an urgent up-tempo sound, including a little saxophone and a coolly done tempo change, before a gradually intensifying end section. The final track, with the wonderful title of ‘Nobody Puts Swayze in the Corner’, is a frantic rocker and rounds things off nicely.
All told, this is a great little record, with some great tunes and a cool punk groove; well worth checking out.
’21 Grams’ EP by Mr Shiraz is out now on Wooderson Records
Words by Edward Layland (@EdwardLayland)