Shoes – Ignition

January 01, 1970

(Black Vinyl)


It’s been almost two decades since pioneering Midwest power
pop band Shoes (now nearing its 40th anniversary) has made a record,
and the time off seems to have done the trio some good. Longtime fans know what
to expect – lovelorn lyrics, sweet ‘n’ sour harmonies, bright guitars (and lots
of ‘em) and the kind of carefully crafted melodies that have been staples of
the genre since Badfinger and the Raspberries.


Nothing truly new, in other words – consistency has always
been Shoes’ forte. The difference is that, after so long a hiatus,
singers/songwriters Gary Klebe, Jeff Murphy and John Murphy sound truly


Maybe it’s a matter of having such a backlog of songs that
it was easy to pick only the best ones for a new LP, but, cut-for-cut, Ignition (Black Vinyl) is the band’s
finest record since its earliest days. Sharp tunes like the winsome “Nobody to
Blame,” the bright “Diminishing Returns,” the psychedelic “Out of Round” and
the rocking “Hot Mess” may not push the band’s self-constructed envelope, but
there’s a noticeable breath of fresh air running through the writing and


Clearly Klebe and the Murphys rediscovered their enthusiasm
for their chosen craft in the previous 18 years, and it shows – this sounds
like the work of a new, young band. Crammed full of the band’s trademarks and
with a killer set of absolutely winsome melodies, Ignition finds Shoes sounding refreshed and better than ever.



DOWNLOAD: “Diminishing
Returns,” “Hot Mess,” “Out of Round” MICHAEL TOLAND


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