Australian comedian Justin Hamilton has a great bit about people who are ‘right-on’ with their politics. “You inherently agree with them, but they say it in such a way that they think you’ve never thought of it before – to the point where you’ll want to disagree.”

Essentially, that’s where many will find themselves on FVEY, the ninth album from evergreen Kiwis Shihad, which drives home the ‘money and greed is bad’ mantra to the point where you feel like crossing the picket line just to spite them.

The album kicks off strongly enough with the ferocious riff and the incessant pacing of ‘Think You’re So Free’, which sounds like the band kicking back into gear after some time on autopilot (see previous LP Ignite and 2008’s Beautiful Machine). The track, sadly, is a red herring – it seems as though Shihad slept on the actual songwriting beyond their right-on lyricism, with constant repetition and a bleary, monotonous delivery.

The band may well have been going for a swinging hammer on FVEY, but overall it appears the best it’s mustered is a cold fish. A record best left to completionists, diehards and Shihad apologists.


FVEYis out now through Warner.

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