I am not the best person to talk to when it comes to music. That may be an odd thing to say for someone who volunteers at a radio station, but I do a talk show so I do not have to know much. Sitting in the lobby of KSSU I hear numerous conversations about current music and I have no idea about what anyone is talking about. But the radio station does provide me an excellent opportunity to listen to all different types of music and the chance for me to give everyone my impressions and opinion.
Shining’s newest album International Blackjazz Society promised a unique blend of rock and jazz with the inclusion of a saxophone. I was hesitant at first but decided to give the album a listen. The first song “Admittance” shocked me. The song starts with the saxophone screaming out in plea known to all woodwind playing elementary school band members. But the song soon shifts into a familiar sound that I have heard from other jazz songs, except for the mixed in rock guitar and drums. I was relieved by the familiarity and was intrigued by this new mix that demonstrated the potential for the potent mix of saxophone with rock music. But the music quickly returns to the ear piercing moments of the start. I am sure that this is what Shining intends, but to go from coherent to incoherent and back again is not my type of music. The music gets less crazy with “The Last Stand”. Absent in the beginning, the sax makes itself known in the middle of the song, changing the tone of the song into an ominous warning that adds a fantastic and interesting mix to the music. Unfortunately, this song too devolves into prepubescent screaming. On a positive note Shining has done an excellent job of transitioning one song to another making International Blackjazz Society feel like one long, diverse song. The transitions highlight the fantastic variety of the album, something many other artists fail to provide in their music.
Shining provides a purely instrumental song in this album, “House of Warship”. The music starts out nice enough and serves as a brilliant example of how a well-integrated saxophone can not only alter the music, but take charge of an entire song and lead the rest of the instruments. Unfortunately, the second half of the song devolves into a mish-mash with no apparent direction. I can hear the silence of an imaginary crowd, dumbfounded at the wild flailing of fingers on the sax and incoherent banging on the drums with each of the performers eyes shut tighter than a clam shell. Remember the scene from Back to the Future where Marty McFly performs at his parents dance and breaks out some rock ’n roll on stage? Everyone stares at him, unsure of what is going on. That is what I imagine
As odd as it may sound I did not hate this album. The music was interesting and the use of a saxophone in rock music actually worked at parts. I would be interested to hear more of Shining, if they could stop straining the sax. Giving its frequency in the music that it unlikely. What I can do is search out similar music or music that promises like twists. International Blackjazz Society was not my kind of music, but I am happy at the perspective that it gave me and was genuinely surprised by the music
DJ T3X Mex is a dj for kssu