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Artist Spotlight: b-Shake

Sometimes when I'm searching for free music on a site like Jamendo, I look up the names of some of my favourite artists to see if there are any other artists making similar music. This can be kind of touch-and-go, as people often have very different ideas about what constitutes similarity when it comes to something as subjective as music. There are also cases where one artist sounds so derivative of another that there is no point in listening to them, as you're better off just listening to the original artist.

However, sometimes some real treasures can be found: artists that take a sound or a style that one is familiar with and manage to do their own thing with it. One such artist that I've recently come across is b-Shake, a Belgian trio lead by guitarist/vocalist Malik Alimoekhamedov. Their music is strongly reminiscent of Pearl Jam, who are one of my favourite bands. Their debut album, Our Future Begins Here, can be downloaded for free from Jamendo, and I would highly recommend it to any Pearl Jam fans who are looking for something new to listen while waiting for Pearl Jam's next album to be recorded.

The album roars out of the gate with "Insane", a driving hard rocker that would not sound out of place on Pearl Jam's Vs. The next track, "Superman", is a quieter, acoustic-based song about the need for heroes everywhere. "Hate is an Engine" is another hard rocker and is one of the highlights of the album. The rest of the album contains more melodic hard rock and acoustic passages, with "Wasting My Time" and "Behind the Walls" being a couple of other highlights. The entire album makes a great listen whenever I am in the mood for something rocking and energetic.

The future is bright indeed if it is in the hands of talented bands like b-Shake. They are currently working on a new album, which should be available later this year. In the meantime, go check out Our Future Begins Here to get a taste of what b-Shake are capable of.

Happy listening!



Malik said...

Hello Jeff,

It's so nice to know you liked "Our Future Begins Here". Now I've got a couple of things to add:

First: Can we use your review on our Web site (a backlink to your blog post will be clearly shown)

Second: You refer to our old Web site which had a podcast media player with acoustic sessions in it but we've recently updated our Web site so those are not yet available. Could you rectify this for the moment? You can subscribe to our feed to be automatically informed once the player is online again. Thanks in advance.

Third: We have some new music produced since "Our Future Begins Here". You can check this out on our Facebook and/or Myspace. You'll find links to these pages on our official Web site Hope you'll like it too and some new fresh reviews will appear on your blog. Thank you.



Jeff said...

Hi Malik,

Thanks for the comment! I always love getting comments and emails about my blog entries, especially when they are from the artists whose work I am reviewing. To address each of your points:

1. Absolutely. I thought that this blog was being published under a Creative Commons license, but maybe I forgot to activate that (or something). In any case, I would be honoured if you would like to use my review on your site.

2. Will do. Maybe while I'm doing that it will give me an excuse to do some more posting - as you can probably see, this blog hasn't been terribly busy this summer. ;)

3. Awesome, thanks for the heads up! I can't wait to check out the new tunes. As long as at least some of it is downloadable, I'd be happy to write some more reviews (since my only criteria for reviewing material for this blog is that it is downloadable and I like it).

Thanks again for the comment (and, of course, the awesome music).