21 Grams is the six-track groove punk EP being released by MR SHIRAZ tomorrow, December 7. MR SHIRAZ, a groove-punk group of five people who are all, presumably, related. Mikey, Tim, Tori, Steve, and Iain, all with the same last name: Shiraz. Working with family can be tough (don’t we know it!), and if they are all related, keeping the band together is an impressive feat in and of itself, let alone releasing new music. In the official description emailed to us, the EP was described as “6 tracks of groove filled punk with plenty of mosh, rhythm and bounce for anyone to get into”. That’s quite a phrase to live up to, and in our opinion, 21 Grams does a decent job of that.
The title track kicks off the EP with a harsh, typical punk-sounding voice, intense guitar solos, and indiscernible lyrics. Mikey Shiraz has a great voice, which the band doesn’t ruin by overusing autotune, and the instrumentalists are clearly talented as well. It ends on a single chord that rings out. Next is Bill & Ted, a more scream-y song. Mikey Shiraz is a very talented singer, but the screaming-sounds are not as great. The rest of the song, however, is very classic-punk and includes rad guitar solos, eerie backup singers, and percussive instrumentation. Breakfast Club, the next song, begins with rhythmic, low bass notes. Yet again, the scream-y feel. However, there’s a sick bass and guitar solo that is excellent. The only lyrics that stuck out were, “Taking the bull by the horns”, which is, oddly enough, easy to get the feeling of from the rest of the song. Up next is Gleaming The Cube, which features backup singers, which is a new feeling for this EP. There are shout-y lyrics, and the words before the shouting, “Keep on swinging, we will knock them down”, feel very rallying and uniting. The guitar solo makes it easy to bob along to the song, which is fantastic. Following that is the second-to-last song, Cusack, which begins with singing and a great harmony in the background, which really ties the song together. Even the guitars harmonize! However, the screaming-feeling chorus seems very scooped and slide-ish. One lyric is repeated again and again, but all that was able to be caught was something about “[pulling] a knife out”. The final, and by far the shortest, song on the album is Nobody Puts Swayze In The Corner. This song involves muted-sounding guitar that bursts into the full sound, like any good punk album should have. It ends the EP on an excellent note.
Although the rest of the EP is excellent, we’re personally not fans of screaming and scream-y sounds. However, the singing and instrumentation are both incredibly talented, and this EP is one that every punk lover should hear. No, we’re not just saying that to be nice and cover up criticism. There are strong and weak points on this EP, but we definitely think that the strong outweighs the weak. As soon as it’s released tomorrow, go give it a listen!