Shadrack Chameleon

Shadrack Chameleon

  • AllMusic Rating
    6
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

For an album created by a revolving group of friends from three separate bands, Shadrack Chameleon is quite a cohesive little surprise. Steve Fox is the only constant on each of the eight songs on the album, and, in a way, could be considered Shadrack Chameleon since his guitar, bass, songwriting, and vocal talents come to the forefront. Fox's thinnish vocals can be an acquired taste, but he is a strong, instinctive writer. A Jimmy Page influence (almost inevitable during the period) is discernible in the interesting, mystical chords and changes on the album. The band is certainly not a Zeppelin soundalike, though, because the changes that Fox and sometime-partner Randy Berka conceived are countered by a gentle acoustic feel and a languid rather than dynamic pulse. The band can employ a beautiful, stomping country-rock style, as on the opening cut "I Wonder Why," with its ensemble vocal hook (reminiscent of Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Lucky Man") and organ, or it can be a heavier progressive rock outfit, as on "Long Road to Ole' Miss" and "Granite Feast." Mostly, though, Shadrack Chameleon might be termed progressive folk, and songs like "That's the Way It's Gotta Be" and "Don't Let It Get You Down" reveal strummed chording that comes out sounding almost claustrophobic and is a good match for each song's subject matter. The members of Shadrack didn't lack ambition, either; "Chameleon (I Love You)" is an epic ballad with seemingly two songs combined into one, while the album ends on the spare acoustic-to-electric drone of "Beyond Eternity." The album ultimately passes by in an almost lazy haze and is occasionally accomplished, but too often Shadrack Chameleon sounds, if not uninspired, uninterested or flat.

blue highlight denotes track pick