Drummer for Japanese superstars B'z by day, multi-faceted solo artist by night, Canadian-born rock dynamo SHANE GAALAAS is kicking out the jams all on his own (well, almost...) for the third time with his brand new 2013 release, 'Ascend.' Building on his earlier efforts, 'Primer' (2003) and 'Hinge' (2005), Shane has created a batch of tunes - recorded, mixed and mastered at his suburban Los Angeles, CA studio - that show his growth and depth as an artist fusing different influences and flavors into a radio ready modern rock amalgam.
'Ascend' is a sonic endorphin rush that shines with an anthemic quality rarely found these days. From the uplifting title track with its ear candy chorus, the forelorn 'Wish You Well', kick-in-the-teeth rude boy rock, 'Rat Stew', driven by a School-of-AC/DC guitar riff, piano driven power balladry ('Brotherhood'), the elegant, Electronica-flavored 'Million Miles', to the simple, heartfelt acoustic beauty of 'Wonderful Midori', and hard charging, top-down-and-go album closer 'Alive', 'Ascend' exudes a noticeable joie de vivre throughout. "When I started writing this record, it seemed to gravitate to more of an uplifting spirit than my last solo efforts?? Not without life's shortcomings but I feel I've arrived at a balanced place in my life and I think the music conveys that throughout the record."
Although a solo effort in the truest sense of the word, with Shane handling lead vocals and a variety of instruments in addition to engineering and wearing the hat of producer, 'Ascend' also features the talents of another multi-talented musician. Fellow Canadian Cory Churko, whose credits include Shania Twain, Kelly Clarkson and Elton John, co-wrote 'Wish You Well' with Shane and contributed guitars. He also plays guitar on the re-interpretation of B'z 'Brotherhood', with totally different English lyrics written by Shane.
2. Rat Stew
3. Wish You Well
4. Million Miles
6. Wonderful Midori