Swiss hard rock band Shakra released their 9th album, PowerPlay, in January through AFM Records.
The Shakra crew is John Prakesh (vocals), Thom Blunier (guitar), Thomas Muster (guitar), Dominik Pfister (bass) and Roger Tanner (drums). They’ve seen some lineup changes through the years, including a few different vocalists. Past vocalists were Pete Wiedmer and Mark Fox. The most recent singer, Prakesh, left his hard rock band Prakesh in 2009 to replace vocalist Fox after he left Shakra. Before that, Fox had replaced Wiedmer when he became ill and was forced to depart from the band.
Life Is Now is a stellar song; the best on the album by far. It also has more of a mainstream, radio play feel to it. It will be a good single release for them. And if listeners are drawn to that song it could open Shakra up to a new audience, who may be open to checking out the rest of the album.
The song Higher makes you envision some long-haired rock god standing on a stage throwing his hair around. You can see him with his hands in black fingerless gloves, wrapped around the microphone, belting the lyrics to Higher into it, and relishing every minute of the experience. The passion really comes out in that track.
Wonderful Life is a mega-cheesy 1980s power ballad. It makes you think they should just stick with the rock songs and skip the ballads; it just sounds like they are trying too hard. But then you hear Too Good To Be True, another ballad on PowerPlay, and you’re convinced they can pull off a ballad without it having a sickly sweet, “too hard to believe it genuinely comes from the heart” sound.
Shakra has accomplished some consistency among their sound over the years, despite all the vocalist changes. That’s no small feat to achieve.
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