By Good Shoes
Good Shoes are another outfit espousing the jangly jitter pop that seems to have become so popular of late. They seem to be every bit the equal of fellow proponents such as the Maccabees or the Hot Club de Paris. However, I'm still not quite sold on the attraction of it all. Tunes that stop, start, noodle around a little and then proceed directly to... nowhere in particular just don't seem to do it for me, however unimpeachably creditable the musicianship may be.
'Never Meant to Hurt You' is a case in point. The fact that the recipient of the titular apology was first encountered "on the plane to Canada" at least means that we are lifted lyrically above the morass of regretted fumbles down at the indie disco. The problem is that the song repeatedly fails to achieve take-off itself. By the end you may indeed be assured that "Ah-ah Ah Ah-ah Ah Ah-ah I never meant to hurt you", but you are also left with the distinct impression that "Ah-ah Ah Ah-ah Ah Ah-ah I" really should have regaled you with details of my overriding sense of guilt and regret to the backdrop of a more memorable musical framework.
Other tracks on this pleasant yet unarresting disc are in similar mode. 'Valley Boy' benefits from well-developed guitar solo, but its tale of disenfranchised lethargy seems at odds with the earnest rhythm. 'Saturday' is a little two minute gem, bit appears underdeveloped. And 'It's Impossible' plods along for a couple of minutes - if this sort of music can ever be said to plod - in spite of a xylophone or triangle adding extra chiming goodness to the mix. The track does really threaten to get going, with lilting melodic guitars playing off against increasingly frenetic drum line. The only problem is that this threat heralds nothing more than the end of the cut in question.
As the CD player drifts into a demo version of the lead track (not remarkably different from the finished product) I'm left with no doubt that these guys can play - but also with the thought that they could come up with something a whole lot more interesting than this. Good Shoes they may be, based on solid craftsmanship cobbled together with the aural equivalent of hand-threaded welting, but I fancy that some additional ear-catching selling point may be required to turn this footwear into an enduring classic.