"Shiver" (The Music Cartel; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

How do you go about describing a band that sounds like Tool at times, Pink Floyd at others and an Angelo Badalamenti film score at still others? I can think of only one word: Unique.

When you first start listening to The Sabians' "Shiver," you might think you're just hearing another stoner rock album (not that that's a bad thing). But as the CD plays on, you soon realize there are far more layers to "Shiver" than were originally apparent. The band's sound alternates from the powerhouse rockers to slow-paced, but just as effective, "ballads" (for lack of a better word) to eerily atmospheric soundtracks for all emotions.

I don't know if you can call "Shivers" progressive rock, but I don't know that you can't, either. The music here certainly reaches to another level of rock'n'roll art without ever forsaking the "rock'n'roll" part. That's perhaps what makes it so unique. It may never make you want to bang your head, but your toe will be tapping happily along throughout - while your mind wraps around the music at the same time. 

The Sabians: Justin Marler - guitar, vocals; Chris Hakius - drums; Patrick Huerta - guitar; Rachael Fisher - bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:19 -0400.