Review Summary: A pleasantly workmanlike affair that contains no surprises and few thrills.
There are basically two kinds of hard rock bands in the world; those who use the explicit aggression and cathartic potential of a grimy distorted guitar to confront their inner and outer demons, and those who embrace the hedonism and living-in-the-moment-ness embodied by loud power chords and swinging backbeats. Grey Shack is clearly the latter.
Grey Shack is the quintessential Indian band. They are classic rock revivalists who peddle the kind of blues and booze-fueled grooves that have informed everyone from The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin to AC/DC and Aerosmith to Guns n Roses and Pearl Jam to Buckcherry and The Darkness. “Monkey Man” has a cool lop-sided opening riff that is probably the most attention grabbing thing on the album. This, along with the up-tempo energy of album closer “Gonzo” are the high points of the album. Especially on the latter, the band shows that it can certainly "rawk". The title track builds nicely from a mellow opening to a more raucous middle section before getting derailed by a Reggae-ish interlude, ripped straight from the live version of Guns n Roses’ version of Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, that is obviously meant as a sing-along and probably works much better in a live setting than it does here. Grey Shack’s penchant for syncopated interludes also shows up on “Beautiful Man” and “One Night Stand” with the former being an otherwise straight up blues-rock song and the latter channeling the kind of funk-influenced jam-band vibe once sported by the Blind Melons and Spin Doctors of the world.
The low point of the album is “Dirty City”, which throws down some shameless hair-metal sleaze over an attempted innuendo-laden ode to the band’s hometown that probably would’ve sounded clichéd if performed on the Sunset Strip in 1987. Lyrically the band doesn't stray very far from standard rock fare i.e. sex, booze, transvestites, love, and social commentary. However, the band doesn't really shine in the lyrical department and the melodies supporting them are pleasant, but hardly memorable. The band's overall performance is pleasantly workmanlike, with well-played guitar solos appropriately singable melodies and riffs that are familiar without being direct copies of their inspirations.
When it really comes down to it, Grey Shack delivers good music for when you're about two Jack and Cokes down, but unless you're into the kind of retro-rock that they're peddling, you probably won't find anything here that's going to rise above pleasant background noise.