Review by Matthew Warnock
Any art form, including music, has a tendency to mimic the real-life experiences of the artist, and Nashville based musician Shane Scheib is no exception. After spending time overseas as a Missionary, studying at Jeff Berlin’s Players School in Florida, starting a guitar club in New Zealand and salmon fishing in the Bering Sea Scheib, acting upon a suggestion of the boat’s skipper, packed up his bags and moved to Nashville to pursue music fulltime. The chameleon like nature that defines his life’s story is directly reflected in his new release, the 6-song EP Genrelicious. Each song represents a different side of the songwriter’s musical background. From jazz to country to industrial and beyond, it’s all there on this eclectic collection of tunes.
The album kicks off with the track “Bossa Sauce,” which, though the title may suggest, is a little far removed from a traditional Bossa Nova track, but it is interesting nonetheless. An instrumental, Scheib lays down a funky, Latin-based groove and then layers a single-note guitar line over top that develops throughout the song. With the addition of some ear grabbing, rhythmic punches around the middle of the tune, the guitarist keeps the interest level flowing. While it is a decent track, it may have been better served later in the playlist, but that’s nitpicking for an EP. If Scheib decides to extend this release into a full-length album then maybe that is a decision he would be forced to tackle, but that’s a bridge to cross down the road.
While Scheib studied jazz guitar during his formative years, his strengths seem to lie in the funkier, more rock-oriented tracks such as “Fung Ku” and “Indie Event.” Whereas his groove was a little less than authentically Brazilian during the opening track, the guitarist sounds right at home during these hard-driving numbers, digging deep into the pocket and laying down some very solid rhythm guitar work.
His melodic playing is more confident in these cases as well. Scheib can really wail and these tunes showcase his strong ability as a rock guitarist. Not to be ignored is his tone, which ranges from lightly distorted on the first track and heavily industrialized on the latter. By adjusting the level of his crunch, Scheib not only elevates the energy on these tracks, he also keeps the listener guessing as to what’s coming next, a skill that any entertainer needs to succeed.
Ever the musical chameleon, Scheib then picks up a banjo, grabs a microphone and delves into the country inspired, tongue in cheek song “Feel Free.” Showing his comical side, but with the musicianship to back it up, might have backfired for other artists, but Scheib pulls it off. The song will put a smile on one’s face, but also get their feet tapping at the same time, not an easy thing to pull off. There’s also a killer, though short, chicken picken’ solo at the end of the track that definitely leaves one wanting more of this style of playing from the multi-faceted performer.
While Scheib is successful in showcasing the myriad of genres and styles that have influenced him over the years, and that he feels comfortable writing and performing in, this release comes off a bit like a demo rather than a store-ready release. The EP lacks that cohesion that makes any great album successful, but it does provide a very detailed view into Scheib’s musical world. With this in mind the talented composer and performer could easily take any of these six songs, follow those particular genres out with 8 to 10 more tracks, and come up with six release-worthy albums. After hearing what Scheib can do with an EP, one can only hope he takes these musical nuggets and sees them to fruition.
Review by Matthew Warnock