Thursday, May 18, 2017

Shelter Dreams - Dreamin'

Shelter Dreams – Dremin’ 

Shelter Dreams have been around since 2007. Songs by Shelter Dreams were played about 190000 times on Number One Music - Radio in USA and reached No 1 in the Charts for Germany - Classic Rock. In January 2017, they released the eight song CD, Dreamin, to the world on CD Baby. They are from Dusseldorf and consist of founder, singer/songwriter Jay Dee, and guitarist Met Jörg Morbitzer. And although there isn’t much to know about them, the music can speak for what can’t be found concerning that. It always helps to start somewhere, but Shelter Dreams are no rookie musicians just because Dreamin is their only release they have out to talk about.

They get started on the CD with the title track “Dreamin” and it’s a groovy number but perhaps misplaced among these eight songs. As I could just as easily take this at the end of the disc. It gets carried mostly by some decent guitars, topped off by a simple vocal that doesn’t wind up its strongest suit. But it gets things underway for “Not Enough” which impresses a lot more in the vocal sector, but it’s still one of the weaker tracks. The guitar of Mobitzer tends to remind of players like Duane Allman, which is never a bad archetype to be reminded of. But he also cuts his own style and it charms the songs with quality playing. And these songs are cut one hundred percent live on purpose.

The opening chords of “Going Down” are nothing much to write home about, but they speak before Jay Dee gets a chance to sing again. And this is a better crack at singing what is obviously not his first language, but German accents always sound great in hard rock and he does better with every track. And “Mean Baby” starts off with proof of that with a sharp twanging of the strings that leads into a nice little blues tinged number. It’s very laid back and I like the way he sings “Oh baby” as the repeated top line. It just cruises right along with a minimum of variation and stays in the pocket the whole time. So far, it’s the tastiest track but the guitar mix could be a lot higher.

This continues, in almost exactly the same way, but with bigger power chords to open “Every Second” and for once there is a hint of that familiar heavy German accent like Klaus Meine of the Scorpions, which can’t helped be thought of when it comes to German hard rock. But Jay Dee makes his own marks. But here is another mid-range track but with a few bells and whistles. It’s probably the best track on offer, but they’re all very consistently even. But for me there is still something missing on “No No” Jay Dee makes a clear effort to deliver a passionate vocal. It has a story that isn’t as easy to follow as other vocal patterns but musically loses nothing with some flashy guitar work.

Track seven is entitled “Maybe Over The Border” and it’s the angriest track on the CD with tales of lowlife experiences, drugs, etc. But even though it’s a dark song, the music is uplifting to its credit on such a doomsday cut. So, it blends together pretty well for what it is, but as a live recorded studio album you can’t always be perfect. It’s not the idea. This track also sports more great guitar tone from Morbitzer that almost has a cockiness worth taking a step further. It could take you over the border, or maybe not. It has a lovely fade-away that is one of the more pleasant moments. And it ends with the bonus track “Sunwave” which goes out on a mellow but tasty instrumental with some smoking guitar and bass. Not a bad way to record for what it is, but Dreamin can benefit from a more polished follow-up release.

Larry Toering

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