The Shazam Meteor
After spending most of the ’90s failing to bull their way out of the local scene, Nashville power-pop foursome The Shazam developed some real momentum at the start of the ’00s, drawing international attention with the booming, crazily catchy albums Godspeed The Shazam and Tomorrow The World. And then… silence. Prior to the new album Meteor, The Shazam hadn’t released any new music since 2002, and yet Meteor doesn’t sound like the work of a band whose career has stalled. Produced by legendary arena-rock boardman Reinhold Mack (the man who gave E.L.O. and Billy Squier their whomp), Meteor is as big, brash, and hooky as The Shazam’s best. Frontman Hans Rotenberry bellows giddily through songs about being “not fucked-up enough,” and about attending a disco at the fairgrounds, and about how there’s always time for a piece of pie; throughout all this, he sounds like a man free from any of the angst and self-doubt that’s the enemy of fun in rock ’n’ roll. The ship may have sailed on The Shazam becoming superstars—especially since power-pop has always been a tough sell to the public at large—but for the 38-minute duration of Meteor, it seems stupid to fret over where the band goes from here. The bottom line is that Rotenberry got to work with a personal hero and make an explosive, entertaining rock record. It was time and money well-spent.