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Country Sweden

Style Melodic Hard Rock
PhotobucketHouse Of Shakira are a Swedish rock formed by guitarists Mats Hallstensson and Anders Lundström that started out in Stockholm around 1991 under the moniker The Station. The mid 1990’s saw the band change their name to House of Shakira, named after a London bordello and found a settled line up with Per Schelander (bass), Tony Andersson (drums) and Andreas Eklund (vocals) alongside Hallstensson and Lundström.

The band’s motto is simply “Try every idea with an open mind”, therefore every member of the band contributes with own ideas to make this music unique. House Of Shakira consists of five very different personalities that only have one thing that ties them together – to write and perform good songs. A good song is the key to make this band function, style or sound doesn’t matter as long as the song is good.   House Of Shakira is producing melodic rock of the very highest quality, they mix hard rock with several music styles – the vocals soar, the melodies rise and the guitars bring it all together. All these components make House Of Shakira an outstanding listening sensation. Due to the diversity of the songs and the music, House Of Shakira are not a typical hard rock band; as a result they are finding a wider audience and fan community.

Their debut “Lint” (bluestone) hit the stores in 1997 and was nominated as best debut album in a lot of magazines and e-zines. Some went even further and put it in their “top-ten list” of debut albums ever. Shortly after the release of “Lint” House Of Shakira went on tour through Europe as an opening act for Royal Hunt. They continued to England to play the Gods festival where “they set the standard for the day which was never bettered”.

Big plans where made for the release of the second album “On The Verge” (bluestone) but everything failed since the record company disappeared from the face of the earth just in time for the release so with little promotion or attention it was back to the studio and in search of a new deal.

House Of Shakira returned to the scene in the year of 2000 with the release of “III” (MTM). Their sound was even more unique this time with a broad diversity of the songs. The record received rave reviews and was called “the best AOR-album in ten years”. With the release of “III” House Of Shakira received some support from radio stations in Sweden who aired the record and this took the band to play at the Sweden rock festival in 2001, a gig that was recorded and latter on released as the live album “Live +”. In the same year House Of Shakira went for a tour in Spain that ended with them headlining the Nemelrock festival in Madrid together with Harem Scarem and Dare.

After about ten years of constant work with the band House Of Shakira took a break in 2002 but returned with a new album in 2004 entitled “First Class” on new label Lion Music. This release was proclaimed as one of the melodic rock albums of 2004 and saw the band expand their fan base further.
Photobucket2005 saw a new version of “Lint” (Lion Music), freshly re-recorded and saw even more positive press culminating with the band played at the premier melodic rock Firefest Festival in the UK with the bands performance later released as a DVD “Live At Firefest 2005” (Lion Music) in April 2006.  This was swiftly followed up in 2007 with the release of “Retoxed” (Lion Music) which again saw positive press

After six studio albums, one live album, one live DVD and several big and small tours – the band found themselves pretty satisfied with what they’ve had accomplished. In this situation they had two choices – either say thank you for this time and all the fun we had and quit, or carry on with a new purpose. The band chose the latter.

“Eventually time came for us to make a brand new start. Change was inevitable. We reflected, recruited and realigned. With our new crew we easily set sails down the rocky road again. HoS is now more focused than ever. This time we are determined to set the record straight. All aboard!”

And so in came new members in lead vocalist Andreas Novak (ex Mind’s Eye / Novak) and the blistering new rhythm section of Basse Blyberg (bass) and Martin Larsson (drums) who all make their recording debut on “HoS” set for release on 27 January 2012 on Lion Music. On the change in personnel Anders Lundström comments, “The new members add new hunger, vitality, passion and aggressiveness to the band. They also provided new visions and song writing skills which have really helped forge our best album in years”.

The first writing sessions for what became “HoS” began during the summer of 2010, with the band looking at Lundström’s and the then still present Per Schelander’s ideas for the two songs that ultimately became “Fractions of Love” and “Zodiac Maniac”. It was agreed that these song fragments needed new melodies and lyrics so Novak started presenting lyric and melody ideas which the band later approved. The rest of the album was pretty much written the same way, starting out with instrumental ideas with Novak adding melodies and lyrics later.

With “HoS”, Novak’s vocals coupled with the bands undoubted song writing skill – as proven on genre classics like “Lint”, “III” and “First Class” – have delivered on CD the goods the potential this pairing suggested on paper. The first thing the listener will notice is a renewed vigour and swank to the bands delivery. Throughout “HoS” you will hear a band enjoying their new incarnation with a collection of melody infused driving rock songs paired with the odd tender ballad.

Whilst at times there is a heavier edge to the music, “HoS” is for the most part back to basics for the band i.e. accessible songs with a commercial punch built around infectious vocal melodies. This is material that is begging to be played live by a band eager to play it live.

In 2013 Swedish melodic rockers HOUSE OF SHAKIRA are releasing their 2nd album with lead singer Andreas Novak entitled “Pay To Play”. According to founder member Mats Hallstensson, this is the band’s best record so far and it certainly does not disappoint. On its 12 songs, “Pay To Play” showcase a confident, veteran melodic (hard) rock band with a firm understanding of what’s necessary to satisfy the fans.

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket PhotobucketHouse Of Shakira - Pay To Play front

– Lint [1997]
– On The Verge [1998]
– III [2000]
– First Class [2004]
– Retoxed [2007]
– HoS [2012]
– Pay to Play [2013]

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HOUSE OF SHAKIRA, 10.0 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
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