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Good Shoes - No Hope, No Future

Good Shoes, No Hope, No Future

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

GOOD Shoes’ sophomore LP No Hope, No Future appear to have suffered an unfortunate dip in quality with this new offering.

Essentially retaining the upbeat nature of the debut, Think Before You Speak, the album also feels more generic than previously and shows very few signs of progression. The vocals of Rhys Jones are also more troublesome this time, flitting between the sound of the Arctic Monkeys and Pete Doherty at times and something more bluesy at others.

The guitars are still crisp and vibrant and succeed where the vocals often fail. But there’s no one song to really excite or fire the album, which is workmanlike at best.

If anything, the album works best when opting to go darker and more moody, with second track Everything You Do a moody strutter that easily surpasses the more exuberant, spiky opener The Way My Heart Beats.

That track has a very Strokesian vibe about it, mixed with punky vocals that don’t necessarily match the breeziness of the guitars. Everything You Do, on the other hand, finds the guitars in melancholy form, and Jones’ sombre and more downbeat. You may well wish for more of the same.

Sadly, on songs like I Know and former single Under Control, the band revert to formula and fail to maintain such a strong grip on your interest – especially the repetitive latter track, which becomes more annoying than inspiring.

The album isn’t without some bright sparks, though. Do You Remember is one pick that succeeds by virtue of some cheeky lyrics (and delivery) and a style that owes much to The Libertines and The Strokes, while Times Change zips along and takes you with it.

Then She Walks Away and City By The Sea, meanwhile, bring the album to a close by gradually slowing down the tempo. The latter, in particular, is more contemplative, mature and melancholy, thereby marking a return to Everything You Do kind of form and tapping into the growing maturity that’s also to be found in more recent Arctic Monkeys material.

If Good Shoes can carry this belated momentum forward into their third album, then so much the better. As things stand, it comes too late to really save this one from becoming a bit of a disappointment.

Download picks: Everything You Do, Then She Walks Away, City By The Sea.

Track listing:

  1. The Way My Heart Beats
  2. Everything I Do
  3. I Know
  4. Under Control
  5. Do You Remember
  6. Our Loving Mother In A Pink Diamond
  7. Times Change
  8. A Thousand Miles An Hour
  9. Then She Walks Away
  10. City By The Sea