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The Beauty Shop - Yard Sale

The Beauty Shop, Yard Sale

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

THE Beauty Shop released their first album in 2002 (Yr Money Or Yr Life) and immediately drew comparisons with the likes of Nick Cave and Violent Femmes from an adoring music press.

The Illinois-based three-piece followed it up with Crisis Helpline, which cemented their reputation for producing records that contained an edgy, lo-fi country noir quality that owe as much in style to J Mascis and The Crash Test Dummies as they do to Johnny Cash.

Fronted by the gruff vocal style of lead singer, John Hoeffleur, the band construct many of their records around laidback acoustic guitar riffs that effortlessly enchant no matter how darkly humorous the tale at hand.

Their latest album, Yard Sale, is comprised of 11 tracks carefully selected from their first two albums and looks to follow the success of last year’s singles, Paper Hearts For Josie and A Desperate Cry For Help, which earned a couple of record of the week spots at the likes of The Independent and BBC 6 Music.

Kicking off with the lively Monster, the track provides an excellent introduction to the down-beat sense of humour regularly exhibited by Hoeffleur and co – which comes wrapped in some truly magnificent acoustic guitar riffs.

The track tackles a difficult relationship and issues of depression but is far from melancholy.

Death March is somewhat slower but no less beautiful, containing a wistful guitar hook and some truly Cohen-like vocals.

While I Got Issues is another darkly humourous stroll through someone’s personal problems (‘I wrote fuck on all my clothes’) that is capable of drawing favourable comparisons with Beck.

The rest of the album is similarly impressive, with former singles Paper Hearts For Josie and A Desperate Cry For Help standing out as highlights – the latter embracing the style of Johnny Cash.

Science Lights and The Love I Could Not Save also resonate strongly, showcasing the band at their most aching, tender and poignant.

Yard Sale is therefore a quietly enchanting album that’s well worth seeking out.

Hear three tracks now

Track listing:

  1. Monster
  2. Death March
  3. I Got Issues
  4. Paper Hearts For Josie
  5. Desperate Cry For Help
  6. Babyshaker
  7. Rumplestiltskin Lives
  8. Science Lights
  9. Shell Game
  10. Nightcrawlers
  11. Love I Could Not Save
  12. Short Film About The Beauty Shop