It has not been an easy life for Shy. Having consistently delivered excellent records and toured the country for weeks on end, this Birmingham-based five piece have suffered cruelly at the hands of Madame Fate.
Two years ago I hailed their excellent RCA-released ‘Excess All Areas’ album as the one to put them into the first division. Unfortunately something went awfully wrong, the band blamed RCA and, I suspect, RCA blamed the group for the lack of market penetration. They retired from the crease a tad miffed.
What would have driven many bands to the brink of destruction in retrospect only served to toughen their resolve.
‘Misspent Youth’ is, once all the factors have been weighed up, a pretty exciting record. Here is a band who were effectively written off, jumping savagely for the throat, ripping their claws deep into the skin forcing you to take notice.
They have toughened their spirit and their music, focusing in on a rip-roaring sound that eases them closer to Dokken and Motley Crue than Journey and Strangeways. A good move.
My only grumble – the one that effectively stole away their full five-K rating – concerns the somewhat slapdash production from Roy Thomas Baker. He was definitely the wrong choice for Shy, and the only saving grace for them both is that the quality of the songs is quite spiffing. Actually, and I can’t believe I’m about to say this, Roy Thomas B ought to be strung up and whacked in the face with a damp beer mat.
So it’s best to concentrate on the fact that Shy have developed into a lean ‘n’ mean rock animal with a bent for delivering gung-ho guitar attacks and screaming vocal lines. ‘Burnin’ up’ and ‘Money’, the first cuts on Side One set the scene and it’s only the ballad ‘After The Love is Gone’ that lets matters down a little. Thankfully the rocker ‘Give It All You Got’ redeems the scene and leaves you eager to flip the sucker over.
The reverse side is infinitel better. Here riffs land on you like meteors crashing through the bedroom ceiling and vocalist Tony Mills’ arrogance clearly shines supreme. Songs like ‘Love On The Line’ and especially, ‘Shake The Nations’ are tacky in the extreme but the thermo-nuclear guitar power and muscle-loaded rhythm turn thm into gonzoid classics of the finest order.
Ok, so Shy aren’t yet in the same league as the Motley Crues of this wolrd but they are the bastard offspring of tomorrow’s generation. Give them the opportunity and they’ll wind the day – you just watch ’em go.
Review by Derek Oliver, Kerrang