23 Sep 2021
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Shihad - Single / Video Review: Tear Down Those Names

19 Jul 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

It is probably hard for anyone outside Aotearoa to realise just how important Shihad have been to the NZ music scene, but they have had five #1 albums, including the most recent, 2014’s FVEY, and hold the record for the most Top 40 singles entries by a local band. The first time I saw them play was at Western Springs supporting AC/DC, and the way the crowd reacted and sang along to all the words was one heck of an experience, and now at long last they are back with their tenth studio album. Old Gods is out at the end of August, but until then we can satiate our appetite by playing Tear Down Those Names on repeat. They may have had a few bassists in their time, but Karl Kippenberger has been in that role for 30 years, while Tom Larkin (drums), Phil Knight (lead guitar, synth, backing vocals) and Jon Toogood (vocals, guitar) have been there since the very beginning, 1988.

They may have been going for a while, but the band are showing no sign of slowing down and here we have Jon full of aggression and anger, as he looks at life through a different lens. He recently converted to Islam, married a Sudanese woman, and has become a father, and all of this has had an impact and changed his perspectives on life. Add in COVID and Black Lives Matter, and he has been looking inwards, and then venting outwards against the inequities and injustices he sees. The single talks about the tumbling of cultural norms and references the statue of slave trader Edward Colston which was thrown into the Avon in Bristol, “There’s been a change in the weather/We’re witnessing history/Throwing thieves in the river/We’re banishing bigotry”. The only way to have the lyrics make sense is with a violent downtuned riff which drills deep into the psyche, from a band who show they are just as angry and upset as they have always been. The video sees a DJ playing this in a club, and the whole crowd going crazy to the song – the cutaways and changes in speed make for quite interesting vid, but this is all about the song which is going to be regarded as another Shihad classic. I can’t wait for the full album.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Shihad

Picture this… 1988, Bob Hawke is Prime Minister, Australia dumps $600 million bucks of tax payer cash on Expo 88, Home and Away hits our tellies for the first time, Triple J launch the Hottest 100, Nintendo release the Game Boy, free University education is no longer an option, and over in Wellington NZ, the Southernmost capital city in the world, Jon Toogood and Tom Larkin are busily creating a heavy rock band…. A monstrous band that would end up becoming one of New Zealand’s most loved, respected and successful exports… Kia ora Shihad!

Fast forward to 2020… Jon, Tom, lead guitarist Phil Knight (who they found through a music shop notice board ad in 1989) and bass player Karl Kippenberger, who joined the band in 1993, (from being a fan) have released nine studio albums (five of which went to #1 in NZ). They survived a name change propelled by Jihad becoming a staple negative reference in the global vernacular thanks to 9/11 (Shihad became Pacifier, and returned to Shihad), personal triumphs and tragedies, travelled all over the world with endless tours, selling out headline shows and sharing stages at major local and international festivals, and touring with musical heroes like Motorhead, Metallica, Faith No More and AC/DC to name a few! In 2010 they were inducted into the New Zealand Music’s Hall Of Fame. And just like Neil Finn, Russell Crowe and every other successful person or idea to come out of NZ… Australia quickly adopted them as our own, showering them with ARIA nominations, adoration and ownership of their global success.


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Shihad

Releases

FVEY
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Ignite
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Beautiful Machine
Year: 2008
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Love Is The New Hate
Year: 2005
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Alive
Year: 2005
Type: EP
The General Electric
Year: 1999
Type: Album
Blue Light Disco
Year: 1998
Type: EP
B-Sides
Year: 1996
Type: Album
Shihad
Year: 1996
Type: Album
Killjoy
Year: 1995
Type: Album
Churn
Year: 1993
Type: Album
Devolve
Year: 1991
Type: EP

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