SHOK PARIS - LIVE IN DALLAS 1989 - AUBURN
Shok Paris is very much a find. This American band, if this recording of a Z Rock live broadcast from 1989 is any indication, was a marvelous heavy metal band that has received nowhere near the recognition it should have. Simply put, Cleveland's Shok Paris exemplifies everything a good metal band should possess.
To begin, the recording takes this writer back to the days when metal was consistently pure and stimulating. The band's action-packed approach is full of intent and power. The singer and the musicians had character to spare. The wild boys were surely influenced by the British heavy metal movement of the '80s as shades of Chateaux, Hammer and Grim Reaper are strewn all over this disc. Find A Way Out, for instance, has a main rhythm very much like Venom's Die Hard. The heavy metallers also had a special vocalist in Vic Hix - a real metal name for sure! - who is the closest anyone has come to Minoru Niihara of Loudness. That is (metal) music to these ears.
On the live front Shok Paris practically writes the manual on live performances. The band interacts with the audience and injects the required excitement and ambience needed to keep the live performance distinct from its studio work, while also managing to stay away from cliched arena rock banter. It sounds like a great live appearance that one would not be embarrassed by attending. By the time, the band dedicates a song to "all the concrete killers out there" for the song Concrete Killers no one is about to bat an eye. Listening to the Scorpions-esue Memories, the killer Exhibit A, slower tune Away Too Long or the dual-guitar of The Heat And The Fire which sounds like Iron Maiden and Loudness will transpose the listener to the '80s heyday and the days when metal meant something and was not diluted by outside impurities.
Will there be another day when some radio station somewhere will broadcast music like this to the unsuspecting masses? - Ali "The Metallian"
SHOK PARIS - GO FOR THE THROAT - AUBURN
Boy, it is just too bad Auburn and its roster never made it big. Sure, Shok Paris did gain a bigger deal and toured around the USA, but that is where things ended. The CD version of the band's 1984 LP has been supplemented with nine songs, including the compilation songs Go Down Fighting and Streets Of Pleasure.
The material is prime US metal. The music had bite, heaviness and melody, attitude and character. The singer had that certain quality to take the band far. Except when fate conspires against you even good material, talent, image and a cool monicker and logo will not help. Songs like Battle Cry, Burn It Down, On A Wing And A Prayer and Go Down Fighting belong to every heavy metal fan's collection. The lead and the biting riffing of Never Say Why itself would have been sufficient to justify Shok Paris' existence.
Shok Paris proves once again that most people are wrong about most of the things most of the time. - Ali "The Metallian"