Murder Shoes – Self-Titled EP

Murder Shoes_Credit Photo to Aaron Fenster_01

Photo -Aaron Fenster

 

A slice of dark seduction always goes down a treat especially when brought with an imaginative smile and psyche haunting radiance. A healthy dose of rhythmic drama and melodic revelry similarly has ears and imagination more often than not seriously enthused within that kind of sultry landscape. It is a delicious mix which leaves us generally hosting a keen appreciation for its source, and in the shape of the self-titled EP from US band Murder Shoes, an especially lustful one. The five track encounter from the Minneapolis quintet is an intoxicating temptation of surf, alternative, and indie rock ‘n’ roll, a sound basking in the smouldering essences of each whilst creating its own individual inescapable seducing.

The seeds of Murder Shoes begin with the meeting of guitarists Chris White and Derek Van Gieson, seemingly at a bar where one worked and the other frequented. Conversations about music led to the pair uniting as songwriters, with a torrent of songs emerging from their complimenting ideations. A new potent factor emerged when vocalist/keyboardist Tess Weinberg was brought into the mix, followed by another spark of dynamics when drummer Elliot Manthey and bassist Tim Heinlein completed the line-up. With everything in place Murder Shoes stepped into the light and released the low key three-track Cash On Fire EP last December. It was just an appetiser for major things, a more than decent toe tester in creative waters, but in hindsight now blown totally aside by the might of the band’s new offering on Land Ski Records.

cover Derek Van Gieson

cover Derek Van Gieson

The adventure begins with Charlotte Manning and an opening temptation of sultrily toned guitar strokes aligned to smaller nibbles of their strings on ears. Van Gieson and White swiftly grip the imagination before the siren-esque lure of Weinberg begins her vocal caresses to intensify its involvement. It is a magnetic entrance but soon finding new levels of persuasion with the darker spicing brought by the throaty bass and more fiery hues to the guitar enterprise. A surf rock seducing by this time is just as fruitfully lighting body and thoughts, it all driven by the respectful and increasingly anthemic endeavour of Manthey. Like that packet of your favourite candy where good intentions in having just one becomes two, then another and subsequently the whole thing, such is the power of the song, every minute left alone listen, leaving an insatiable want for more.

And so it is with the following Maybe You Can, and the whole EP to admit the truth. It is another song rampantly persuasive and in control of the senses from its first singular guitar baiting of ears. That lone lure is soon bulging with a feisty march of beats and wrapped in fresh swarthy kisses of guitar as Weinberg produces more of her warm vocal enticing. There is a feel of The Capsules to the melodic and smouldering aspects of Murder Shoes songs whilst the unpredictable twists and invention within the encounter is like a blend of Chick Quest and Two Wounded Birds. The track continues to masterfully impose and enthral before making way for the fiery Under the Sea. You can almost feel the hot tingle of sand between toes as the surf pop persuasion dances with ears and emotions. Its sixties breath adds to the compelling character and sound of the song whilst mini crescendos even in their brief moments just breed a catchy drama to the glorious pop flirtation.

The following Sea a Little Louder brings another embrace of mellower energy but again without losing any of the gripping invention and melodic poetry of its predecessors. It is too bubbly to be classed as a piece of balladry but similarly with its alluring restraint far from being an incitement of intensive activity, a mesmeric croon the apt description for the song’s atmospheric and creative hug. It is easy to drift away with the breezy temptation, even its muscular rhythm saunter and the little bursts of climatic endeavour only empowering its immersive qualities.

Final track In Your Bed Or On a Train has limbs back in a frenzy and emotions fired up with its fusion of old school rock ‘n’ roll, sweltering surf ambience, and indie rock unpredictability. Think a modern day Wanda Jackson fronting a Morningwood type proposition and you sense why the EP’s closing offering is so irresistible. Rolling beats from Manthey again provide the resourceful and unrelenting wave of rhythmic enslavement which cores most songs whilst guitars and bass spin sticky darkly hued webs of adventure. Shrouded in the almost celestial tones of Weinberg, it is an exhilarating proposition, as the whole EP, and if the flavours we most mentioned, surf, indie etc. bring a lick of the lips, you are looking at potentially your favourite release of the year.

The Murder Shoes EP is available now digitally and on CD via Land Ski Records @ http://murdershoes.bandcamp.com/

http://www.murdershoesband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Murder-Shoes/331873790352913

RingMaster 05/05/2015

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The Persian Leaps – Drive Drive Delay

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Creating a sparkling clang of noise pop with indie breeding and a raw slither of punk, the sound of US band The Persian Leaps is one of those propositions which you do not realise how much you are enjoying it until it departs the ears. Certainly that was the effect of their new EP Drive Drive Delay, an encounter which made a strong if not exactly overwhelming start but by its third song had feet dancing to its tune and by the close urged an immediate need to press play all over again. It is hard to declare the offering as a major breakthrough for the Saint Paul in Minnesota hailing band, but it has plenty to awaken a real appetite for more and the potential of that upcoming moment.

The band’s seeds began with singer/guitarist Drew Forsberg, who came up with the name in a doodle whilst attending a college Greek Archaeology course. Using the name to write music independently over many years, sound inspired by the likes of My Bloody Valentine, The Smiths, Guided by Voices, and Teenage Fanclub, he eventually brought the band to full life in 2012 with the expansion of the line-up. Last year saw the release of their acclaimed debut EP Praise Elephants, a well-received proposition now potently backed and at times surpassed by Drive Drive Delay.

Fire Starter sets things off and as mentioned at the start, makes a good if not exactly attention grabbing opening to the release. With thick chords and keen rhythms shaping its body after an initial vocally abrasing start, the song jangles and sonically sparks in ears with agreeable responses but there is something missing energy wise and exposed further by subsequent songs. Nevertheless bright harmonies and that persistent discordance clad ring of the guitars ensures it is no throwaway offering, just a less striking one especially once the following Pretty Boy takes over. The song swings with hefty beats from drummer Michael McCloskey across the caustic flame of Forsberg’s guitar whilst his great vocals, accompanied by the band, bring vibrant colour to the already tenacious mixture. An old school punk spice lures at the heart of the track and is especially delicious, recalling the likes of The Lurkers and the pop punk of the Radiators, whilst the song as a whole pushes Drive Drive Delay to loftier heights.

The next up (Goodbye to) South Carolina flows through ears on a scuzzy tide of riffs but with a raw bait courted by an almost spatial melodic flaming which is almost Birdland like in sonic Picture 62enterprise. Like the first song, it does not stir the imagination and emotions as its predecessor but still makes a tasty appetiser with its great acidic twang for the final pair of outstanding songs.

Truth = Consequences is a fiery croon of sound around a similarly delivered mellow caress of vocals. The track shimmers and bellows with creativity as again riffs and hooks glow with sonic heat and enterprise whilst the throaty basslines of Brad Hendrickson simply enslave the appetite in the short but riveting encounter. It is the new peak for the EP but straight away eclipsed by the excellent Permission. The closing song swings in on a rhythmic rumble clad in the fuzzy temptation of guitar, swaggering with melodic radiance and thickly barbed bass tones. That My Bloody Valentine influence is a loud whisper across the evolving landscape of the track, but equally there is unique freshness to the virulence and character of the hooks and winy grooves which vein the warm if volatile ambience of the triumph.

The EP is a potent introduction to newcomers to The Persian Leaps like us and in hindsight an impressive continuation of the qualities in the emerging band that their fans already knew about. It may have made a slow impression initially but more of the same ahead would certainly go down a treat.

The Drive Drive Delay EP is available now via Land Ski Records and digitally @ http://thepersianleaps.bandcamp.com/

http://thepersianleaps.com/

RingMaster 12/01/2015

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