Album, Single and EP Reviews



  II by Shelly Knight and the Livin' Dead

II cover art

Artist: Shelly Knight and the Livin' Dead
Title: II
Catalogue Number: Right On Records ROR-SK2007-01
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2007

Sunset on the open highway. You've been driving all day and it's getting to you. Time to take a break and maybe rest up for the night. You pull off the highway and follow the back roads into a small town. Looks OK so you get yourself a motel room and head out for a beer. Never been here before so you go into the first bar that you find. The band is playing as you enter. Breathing in the cigarette smoke, you order yourself a Lone Star and find yourself a seat. That band is Shelly Knight and the Livin' Dead.

Bluesbunny is prone to the odd rambling moment but hopefully you get the picture. As we listened to the new album from Shelly Knight and the Livin' Dead, we found ourselves transported to Texas. Not the glossy travelogue version of Texas but to the clubs and bars that host real rock music. You know what we mean - raucous vocals, loud guitars and that whole raise-the-roof mentality. "About Her" cascades out of the speakers. It's a love song in the rock chick style. Forget other women and come to Shelly. You know it makes sense. "Heaven's Fall" confirms this band's rock credentials. Fred Schultz's hardcore guitar is destined to give you maximum volume satisfaction. Eric Leikam's bass line leads us into "Slip Away" and Shelly is in a more sensitive mood here. You could almost imagine this as a ballad but then you would have to do without the guitar solos. That would not do at all. There would have to be a song about the dangers of the demon drink on an album like this and it is called "Whiskey". You don't expect depth from a rock band but that is what we get as this song revisits ground covered on their eponymous first album. The message? Love does not actually conquer all. The best track? "Down in The Grass" sold this album to us. Andrew Wood beats the drum and Shelly sings the song. She's a determined woman and she always gets her man. Bluesbunny believes it.

This album is as refreshing as that first cold beer after a long hot day. The band crank it right up and if you like your guitar riffs then you will not be disappointed. Shelly's rasping vocals are a bit Lita Ford or even like the lesser known Lauren Smoken. As we are prone to saying, this is another collection of songs that are best played loud so pour yourself a beer and turn it to 11. Available from CD Baby.
Review Date: December 4 2007