Shihad
The General Electric


4.5
superb

Review

by pjrule45 USER (1 Reviews)
February 1st, 2006 | 24 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist


This album from Shihad really cemented their place at the top of New Zealand rock which is where they presently remain. The General Electric was released before any of their name change debacles that caused a lot of controversy over the band after Sept 11. (They had to change their name to Pacifier to break into the US as Shihad was deemed too close a name to 'Jihad.' Just last year however, they changed their name back to Shihad.)

The General Electric (TGE) followed an album which saw the band branch out from their heavy industrial metal influences and showed a more melodic side to them. This opened the door for TGE and huge anticipation awaited it upon release and in my opinion they delivered a masterpiece.

Line up
Jon Toogood - Vocals, guitar
Tom Larkin - Drums
Karl Kippenberger - Bass
Phil Knight - Guitar


Song by Song -

Intro - Just random electro guitar sounds which is the start to the last song on the album 'Brightest Star.' It is a relaxing start to the album and builds suspense perfectly for the explosive start of 'My Minds Sedate.' (1.04 mins)

My Minds Sedate - A single off the album and it is one of the heaviest. Contains a heavy jerky riff with the verses and has an instantly catchy chorus where Jon Toogood sings 'My Minds Sedate' over and over. A brilliant early song on the album and gets you pumping for the rest. A killer track live also.
4/5 (2.53 mins)

The General Electric - Another single and the title track. It is the longest track on the album and it my favourite Shihad track. Nothing else i've heard sounds like it. Contains a feedback intro which leads to the verses with the bass going everywhere with silent guitar and the vocals quite shreaky. The bridge is my favourite part of the song with a heavy, catchy riff leading into a chorus which releases all the tension. Jon sings "You're holding everything inside" followed by "Don't it feel good to be alive!" The song breaks down in the middle and cranks back up into the chorus and finishes with the catchy riff. Perfect stuff.
5/5 (5.45 mins)

Wait and See - Yet another single (no not every song is its just the way the tracklist goes!) This track is the first signs that their melodic/electronic movement is here to stay. It has a very electro guitar riff with a constant bassline behind it for the most part. This song took a while to grow on me but I really enjoy it now and it is like nothing else I've heard. A cool chorus which changes but I like the "Space for every boy and girl/become the acne on the face of the world" line. Also "Watch as money takes control" is a great line.
4/5 (4.34 mins)

Pacifier - The song which inspired Shihads brief name change to Pacifier. It is a very popular song which is very melodic and has very little hint of their heavy past. Starts of with the line "You feeling good today cause I got told that you weren't" which sets the tone for the song which is relaxing and kind of inspirational. Its about helping someone in need and ends with the line "Common lets take a look outside" which gives hope. Has keyboards in the background which is a nice touch. The drum beat is very catchy also.
4/5 (4.03)

The Thin White Line - BOOM this songs just explodes after Pacifier and gets you pumping again. Contains a riff which is similar to the bridge in The General Electric. Jon sounds quite angry on this one and the agression comes across well. It contains the first true solo of the album as the song builds to a powerful ending. A great song which would have made a great single.
5/5 (3.15 mins)

Only Time - This song is in the Wait ans See mould as it has a very evident electo feel especially with the distorted bass. I really enjoy this song especially its chorus which includes '..and you can break away till you'rve found your own way.' The first and third verses both have minimal guitar with soft drums which is a nice change. This song has Shihad blending their rock influences with the electro sound almost perfectly.
4.5/5 (4.38)

Just Like Everybody Else - This is the most punk influenced song on the album and would sound completely out of place if not for the riffs on The General Electric and The Thin White Line. There is nothing too special about this song but I still enjoy it due its catchy chorus and fast tempo. The best part is when the music stops for Jon to sing "I've got a chance to be myself just like everybody else!"
3.5/5 (2.49)

Sport and Religion - Another relaxed electro song. I dont think its as good as Only Time but it has a constant bassline which keeps the song moving and picks up for the chorus. The main riff on guitar has a lot of effects which takes a little bit of getting used to. Overall it takes a while but it has grown on me.
4/5 (4.32)

Spacing - This song is a great softer song which is refreshing to hear later on in the album. It starts of with soft guitar and a litlle bass tune and no drums. Jon sings 'Well I'm sad but I'm not empty, cause today it's on the cards that I'm on the moon.' The drums kick in later on and give the song a good feel into a big chorus which is amazing and makes you sit up and take note. The song breaks down in the middle and cranks up for an emotional finish. A brilliant song which wouldnt have fit on Shihads first couple of albums!
5/5 (4.19)

The Metal Song - The name says it all for the most part. The band is agressive again on this one. It contains a heavy, bassy riff however the twist lies in the chorus where the music gets a lot less heavy and contains the words "believe in what you want to be." The song has an inspirational bridge, goes haevy again and then finishes with the softer chorus. Its quite a unique song which contains their two styles in one!
4.5 (4.24)

Life in Cars - Life in cars is quite a standard rock song (which is unusual for these guys to write!). The guitars have a mainstream sound and theres no real electro sounds happening. Nevertheless its a great song with a solid drumbeat with a strong chorus and bridge.
4/5 (4.03)

Brightest Star - This song took a while to grow on me and for a while I would stop the album after Life In Cars. Now the song has grown on me like a few others on thwe album. The start is exactly the same as 'Intro' and leads on to vocals this time. There are no drums and minimal bass its very electronic guitars and singing and provides a relaxing, kinda spacey end to the album. I enjoy the song now and Jons voice is very strong on this.
3.5/5 (3.28)


TGE is an album which I bought expecting only to like the big songs. However this album is really solid from start to finish and is one of my favourites of all time. The electro influences they placed with their rock sound provided a good mix and produced songs that are very unique and are quite hard to describe. Its a shame because this album is not very accessible outside Australasia and I feel that if it were, Shihad would have made an impression further abroad. If your wanting to get some tracks from the band to see what they sound like, definately try getting your hands on 'My Minds Sedate,' 'The General Electric' and 'Wait and See'


user ratings (31)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
sgrevs
February 2nd 2006


698 Comments


I can't say I've ever gotten into Shihad, I think they're total rubbish really, and I've seen them live, though trying not to pay attention. I don't like the vocals, and the singer is a tool. And look at his name! How arrogant!

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
February 2nd 2006


1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've never been that much of a fan of Shihad, I can see what everybodies getting at when they call them a 'band thats better seen live.' I wouldn't give it a 4.5/5, but nice first review, and it is nice seeing reviews of kiwi bands.

I can't say I've ever gotten into Shihad, I think they're total rubbish really, and I've seen them live, though trying not to pay attention. I don't like the vocals, and the singer is a tool. And look at his name! How arrogant!

Let me guess, Australian?

Merchant
February 2nd 2006


7 Comments


shihad bore me. seen them like six times now, always the same thing. New Zealand should and could do better. thats why i hate it here, never any good acts apart from the odd local band that nobody else seems to notice.

Nice review and good on you for shedding some light on New Zealand.

nerovita
February 2nd 2006


5 Comments


Mm I appreciate that these guys must be one of your favourite bands - but dude, Shihad suck.

It sickens me that Shihad are so widely 'known' to be NZ's 'top rock band' - there are so many NZ bands that are extremely better than them, in so many ways. But these bands will never get any real recognition, because NZ's music economy is utter crap, and the NZ-based recording companies are so narrow-minded that they will not try anything new unless it has been proven to be popular overseas...

And I know I sidetracked... that mini-rant had nothing to do with your review ^_^ Which was nicely written, by the way. Even if I don't agree with a word of it, LMAO.

pjrule45
February 2nd 2006


23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Man is there any Shihad fans on this site!!!! Anyways thanks for the positive feedback on the review. I am from NZ but my views on Shihad arent biassed because of that. I totally agree with you Nerovita on the fact that NZ's music economy is crap. Today I was reading an article in the paper which said that bands receive no funding if they dont get onto mainstream media which makes it near impossible for underground bands.

Two questions - have you guys heard Shihads early albums and do you think they are better than their later stuff?

and for the kiwis out there what relatively unknown rock bands do you guys suggest getting into?

nerovita
February 16th 2006


5 Comments


I suppose their older stuff is deifnitely better, they don't get better with each new album, they just get worse.
However, I still think they suck, LOL.

I'm 16, I'm looking at a future career in music, and I know I'm not going to get that here. OK, not necessarily in a band, because I know that would take a hell of a lot of work to really get anywhere. But I'd like to see NZ as a whole, take on the music industry and make it into something a hell of a lot better than it currently is. If not for my generation, at least for those to come. It's a pity - we have so many awesomely talented musicians, but nowhere for them to go.

Dude - if you want any underground NZ bands to check out, try the Cynics. Recommended by my boyfriend, indeed they are. His brother's a music freak. He knows these things ^_^

DTisdabestest
February 22nd 2006


22 Comments


Shot Hobsy!!! Nice Review...

...I'm 16, I'm looking at a future career in music...16 and you think you can post that a band however successfull/unsuccesfull they may be, suck! If you want to be a musician you have to find something good about bands and musicians and take it all in, sounds like you like your music stock and packaged in a box.



DTisdabestest
February 22nd 2006


22 Comments


Try another review on killjoy
This Message Edited On 02.22.06

DTisdabestest
February 22nd 2006


22 Comments


............This Message Edited On 02.22.06

DTisdabestest
February 22nd 2006


22 Comments


..............This Message Edited On 02.22.06

DTisdabestest
February 22nd 2006


22 Comments


...............This Message Edited On 02.22.06

DTisdabestest
February 22nd 2006


22 Comments


Gud Review
This Message Edited On 02.22.06

nerovita
February 23rd 2006


5 Comments


Excuse me? Dude, no one asked you. And what would you know about wanting to be a musician? You didn't really think about what you were saying, did you - I bet you're this guys mate, whoever s/he is, and you think I'm picking on the band.
I wasn't picking on Shihad, nor your mate. I was talking about the music industry. Learn to read, jackass.
And my age has nothing to do with it. I probably have more maturity contained within my pinkie nail, compared to you. And it doesn't sound like you have much of a brain either, mate.

DTisdabestest
February 23rd 2006


22 Comments


Jeez it took you long enough to reply, sorry I could just tell it would be easy to piss you off, it was just jokes ; )This Message Edited On 02.23.06

Tam-Tam
February 24th 2006


93 Comments


The only good thing that has came out of New Zealand in the longest time, was Sommerset...and they're finished now anywho.
I've seen Shihad a few times though and I really don't get the dislike for their live set. They're actually alot better on stage than they are in a CD player.



nerovita
February 28th 2006


5 Comments


Haha alright D, I get it. No harm, no foul.

w00dy
March 1st 2006


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is just a great all round rock album... fan of them or not for me it's their most accessable cd, even though they had more success with pacifier...

and as far as they go live, i've seen alot of bands, don't think i've seen any get even close to shihad when they're on their day...

pjrule45
March 4th 2006


23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

[QUOTE] this is just a great all round rock album... fan of them or not for me it's their most accessable cd, even though they had more success with pacifier...


yep I definately agree with you there. I think the more success of the pacifier album was related to this album giving shihad a whole lot more fans


Pyro 910
March 18th 2006


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is another kick arse album from the shihad boys. Those who say theve seen them life and they were crap must not have been watching. I saw them at the BDO festival and they were easily best band there. Between songs when you thought you could get a rest from moshing jon would jump on the amps and ask the crowd to keep on moshing and not stop.

CharmlessMan
May 11th 2006


169 Comments


I saw these guys live, and they are fucking awesome, so much energy and John's crowd participation is magnificent.



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