|New Zealand Music Month - Day 28
||[May. 28th, 2009|06:34 pm]
For all their later originality, a lot of the best rock bands of the `sixties started off as (largely) covers bands. This may not have done all that much for the creative quality of their shows, but they certainly did learn how to put on a good show by doing that. (Speaking of `sixties covers bands, Mysterex has a big article about Invercargill's infamous Unknown Blues here). This is not to say that the more original bands out there weren't equally able to put on a good show with their own material, however.
Fast forward to circa 1990. I first heard of Shihad through reviews in the (then) free record-shop giveaway paper Rip It Up. The general impression I got of the reviews is that they were a really good Metallica covers band. This isn't borne out by the earliest set list in the gig guide at the Shihad Wiki which only lists one Metallica cover (other bands covered included Black Sabbath and Steppenwolf); but they definitely developed some formidable musical talent quite early in their career. As of now, they have been together for over 20 years now and had a number of huge hits (they've probably sold over 100,000 albums in this country, which on a per head of population basis would be the equivalent of between five and ten million album sales in America).
For a few years, political correctness* set in and they released their albums as "Pacifier" (at the time they were playing the occasional show in America and didn't want their name to sound too much like "jihad"... oh for the old days when rock groups wanted to appear outrageous... never mind that their name has more to do with Frank Herbert than Mohammed) but they've returned to their old name now. So here are Jon Toogood – vocals, guitars; Phil Knight – guitars, synthesizer, backing vocals; Karl Kippenberger – bass guitars, backing vocals; and Tom Larkin – drums, backing vocals, samplers, and their song Home Again.
* For people who don't know me: I only ever use the phrase "political correctness" in reported commentary, irony, or (most likely) both.