SHOEHOUSE - Concentrated Living

Shoehouse - Concentrated Living

13 songs
51:08 minutes
***** ****
Some Guy Down The Street


There's so much great music being published by tiny independent labels, and most people are so saturated by the trends imposed by major record companies that they will never have the opportunity to discover these more original quality bands.

Shoehouse are the perfect example. This three-piece from San Francisco has just released their debut album Concentrated Living on Some Guy Down The Street Records, and even after reading the band information sheet, I still have the impression that they keep a rather low profile. What can be said about them? Vocalist Bill Taylor used to be in a band called Peppercorn that once received rave reviews in the German punk fanzine Ox, and the band calls its style slammin' indie rock. So far, so good, but this could still be anything.

From the first song (Temptress) on, it is very likely that you will be enchanted by their unconventional angle at hard hitting rock music. The three-piece composition of the band ensures them a very raw sound, enhanced by the whiskey soaked voice of Bill Taylor. Most of the songs are mid-tempo, carried by some of the warmest distorted guitars you will ever hear. When the band's playing faster as on the opener or on the excellent In Celebration Of Your New Skin and Taste The Fuel, they remind me of Leatherface, their other stuff has a certain Hüsker Dü emotionality, with much crackier vocals though.

You get some more variety with the cello based ballad Slow Poisoning, and the last regular track Wherever I May Find Her (followed by a hidden bonus track) gets some momentum by organ sounds. Apart from that, you have an album that grows on you the more you listen to it. Sure, there are those who won't know how to handle this music, because it's analogous to an unpolished diamond, but those of you who really understand the value of good music might never want to get this album out of their CD player again. The only reason I don't give this album maximum rating is because I somehow feel there is even more potential to come. Until then, a big fat 9 out of 10. Download the MP3s at the band's website and you will know what I am talking about and probably want to buy the CD. This is truly great stuff!

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