According to Nashville based pop/rock band Shirock, their debut album Everything Burns is dynamic and “filled with bold, anthemic songs that bristle with restless urgency and passionate optimism”. After one listen, I’d have to say they were pretty spot-on when they wrote that description.
Drawing comparisons to the iconic U2, who they have listed as one of their influences, each song on Everything Burns is bursting with passion both lyrically and musically, never losing energy from start to finish.
The album opens with the first single New Solution, which is a powerful introduction to Everything Burns and Shirock as a whole. The chorus is quite reminiscent of a U2 style anthem, with vocalist Chuck Shirock at times sounding like Bono himself. The song features some backing vocals from Pap Shirock who really shows off her pipes in some more songs later in the album. The pair’s powerful vocals are backed up by some handy guitar and drum work which fit together to produce an emphatic introduction.
The next track Time Goes By is a bit softer but still as bold and powerful as its predecessor. It starts out slower with a piano introduction before picking up momentum with Chuck taking lead vocals again and backed up by Pap, but maintains a slow to mid paced tempo. This song has more of a vulnerable vibe with its lyrics (“Can you help me stand up/Cause I just can’t stand on my own”) and slower beats, but it’s still anthemic with the guitar solos and strong vocals.
Pap gets a chance to take over lead vocals on I’ll Take Rain, showing off her flawless voice on the romantic ballad. Personal, meaningful (if not slightly on the sappy side) lyrics are a staple of Everything Burns and I’ll Take Rain is a shining example of such lyrics (“I’ll take rain on my Sundays/If you stay on the worst days/Oh Please stay/I found the one/And I’m lost without you”). Pap’s beautiful vocals are backed by instrumental work which does well to avoid being overpowering to make this an album highlight.
The album features a track called Everything Burns Intro before blending into the title track Everything Burns, which features a spoken passage bringing home the main message of the album which is the importance of love and companionship (“There’s only two ways to live: You can either love things and use people or you can love people and use things….People last forever/Everything else just burns”). Everything Burns is full of passion from the beginning to the end, both the single and the album.
The U2 influence comes out again in the album’s final track I Have Been Redeemed (Reprise), a slower ballad where Chuck again at times sounds almost identical to Bono. This is probably the slowest, softest song of the album which serves as a fitting outro to such a powerful album. It’s refreshing to wind down and hear something a little different from the quintet.
Everything Burns is an impressive debut album which shows a lot of promise for the future of Shirock. Despite the notable similarities to mega band U2, Shirock define their own sound to make their first impression on the scene a solid and memorable one.