By The Beauty Shop
Here is the third album from the Illinois 3 piece, presenting "lo-fi country noir" in all its over-produced glory. The Beauty Shop present John Cash, the Crash Test Dummies and perhaps a splash of Creed, thanks to the truck-driver-esque vocals of John Hoffleur. Country electro-acoustics and a bland bass line sit too comfortably on top of a jaded drummer.
The Beauty Shop appear to have applied an acute sense of humour to this record as an unexpected country bumpkin bluegrass effect is applied to "A Desperate Cry For Help" and the brilliant "Babyshaker" - a short song documenting the bands astute sense of humour. A solemn moment comes in the form of "Science Lights" - the quality of which would be improved vastly if the guitar were tuned beforehand.
Personal favorites of the album come in the form of opening track "Monster" thanks to its cute guitar arpeggios and to its over-compressed wheezy vocals. Yard Sale appears to be one of the many albums that offer two or three worthy songs amidst several "fillers", including those all-important ballads.
At some points Hoffleur's dreary un-melodic vocals lines suit the plodding acoustic guitars but in the case of "Death March" and other sober moments, you prey for a more imaginative melody or anything to simply awaken the track.
The ambiguous nature of Hoffleur's lyrics suggests that The Beauty Shop are hiding something from the rest of us: "I know that lately I've felt so depressed / And under pressure from the weight success".
Apart from a few promising moments the album drags and by track 8 you begin to get the point; you soon grasp the ethos of this band, enough to make you want to appreciate "lo-fi country noir" but regrettably not enough to keep you listening.