Album review: SHADOWQUEEN – Don’t Tell



Bad Reputation [Release date 13.05.13]

I realised recently – and unplanned – that the first half-hour of my weekly radio show was made up of several Aussie acts, including Tracer and original AC/DC vocalist Dave Evans.  Along with bands like a re-energized Airbourne there’s almost a rock renaissance going on down under.  And then of course there’s Adelaide-born Orianthi…

Shadowqueen were also part of that Antipodean radio action, a Melbourne-based trio centred around singer (and bass player) Robbi Zana and guitarist Si Hopman.  The Aussies certainly know a thing or two about riff rock and from the get-go this is an engaging and rollercoaster ride of fist-pumping attitude.

Robbi’s vocals are excellent throughout (It’s a she, by the way). Lovers of bands like Halestorm and Hydrogyn and even older stagers like Doro and Joan Jett via Girlschool will find much to like here.  Throughout, I was drawn back to the vibe on Alanis Morissette’s ‘You Oughta Know’: it’s here in spades.

The band really get into their stride on tracks like ‘Any Other Day’, ‘What You Want’ and ‘Bruised’.  Robbi’s evidently a talented lady, playing piano on the short riff-respite – ‘Prelude To Silence’ – showing that there is light and shade in them there hills.  And this is further evidenced on ‘Karma’.

I’ve no doubt this band will gain a younger following and are mining a popular niche at the moment (female-fronted hard rock).  It’s an increasingly crowded space, but on the basis of their debut Shadowqueen could become one of the main contenders.  ****

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 2 August 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 4 August 2020.

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