Only very recently, I wrote a review about the debut album from Buttered Bacon Biscuits, a new promising 1970's classic rock band who comes from Italy. THE SHOES, also from Italy, are located in the same musical region and celebrate easily an individual hommage to the heavy blues-driven rock 'n' roll of the early 1970's. But in contrast to Buttered Bacon Biscuits, THE SHOES' approach to this music is more aggressive and stronger influenced by the heritage of Detroit's high energy rock. They unleash a raw, burning power trio sound, roughly comparable to early Grand Funk Railroad or The Third Power, but you can also add Humble Pie, MC5 or The Groundhogs to that list even if not each band is a trio or from Detroit. There is no hammond organ, but a lot of blistering guitar action, which is closely linked to a solid driving rhythm section. That's why this CD is so fun to listen to. It consistently rocks the whole way through, except for two calmer tunes, but otherwise the crunchy power of THE SHOES just blows my mind, no matter how many times I listen to it.
Credit must also be given to sound engineer Davide Abbruzzese for faithfully capturing the band's raw power in the studio. The production brings the listener back to a musical era before click tracks and digital sterility became the standard. The groove is organic and the feel infectious. All twelve songs are packed with distinctive hooks as well as neck-breaking arrangements, and the band is firing on all cylinders. Needless to say they are no renovators, but who cares about such minor details? I don't. As long as the songs are good and the musicians understand their craft, I am wholly satisfied with the result. THE SHOES are a great new discovery for each 1970's heavy rock revivalist and a well-appreciated addition to the band roster of Vintage Factory Lab. Doubtless THE SHOES are among the most talented 1970's retro rock newcomers for 2010. Let's hope for more!