This is a review of "Sleeping With The Enemy" recorded by Mr Shiraz. The review was written by James Meehan in 2003.
Dum Dum. Dum Dum. Dum Dum. Dum Dum.
The bass drum thumps with moody guitars then the wailing brass kicks in to captivate you rather than provide a tune. And this is how 'Sleeping with the enemy' starts. In the past I have brushed Mr. Shiraz off for sounding a bit too much like Less Than Jake. And in this opener they do sound like Less Than Jake. But they don't sound bad for it as they sound like Less Than Jake at their best.
Second Track 'Good Mourning' moves away from the often over used Ska-Punk sound and creates something more laid back. The trumpet is perfectly placed and the intense lyrics over the chilled out guitar make for an interesting listen. The final chorus with more than one person singing makes me fall all excitable and implies it would translate well live, as Mr. Shiraz usually do.
'Road Block' instantly has me not liking it. It sounds good, has a catchy chorus and verses I could sing along to. The trumpet riff is enjoyable and I can picture a fun video going with this song for the MTV2 viewers. Its Americana pop punk at its purest. And that is where my problem lies. I may be mistaken with this and please correct me if I am wrong with this one, but I thought the singer was English? Maybe? Either way the guy singing on this track is blatantly from California. Aside from that small slice of pickiness, it's a great track and summarizes an excellent EP showing me for the first time that there is more to Mr. Shiraz than a Less Than Jake tribute act and that perhaps next time I go to see them I should carry a more open mind on my shoulders.