Shihad – The Meanest Hits
Nearing a quarter of a century together and well overdue for a greatest hits compilation, Shihad have put together a two-CD collection that reinforces the claim they’re arguably the greatest rock band to come out of New Zealand. This “best of” travels from their early speed metal origins through to their industrial and post-punk influenced debut Churn (1993); from Churn’s dark successor Killjoy (1995) to their commercial peak, The General Electric (1999).
The Meanest Hits shows that though Shihad have incorporated everything from pop melodies (‘Beautiful Machine’) to more expansive sonics like the electronic bounce of ‘Wait And See’, they have remained a visceral and dynamic band who balance controlled aggression and soaring choruses like few others. The inclusion of their latest single ‘Right Outta Nowhere’ finds them in rude health with a pummelling groove and a chorus from singer Jon Toogood that ruthlessly wedges itself in your brain. It’s a promising sign that this 38-song retrospective isn’t a gravestone but an impressive signpost in their illustrious career.