I have always been a massive Good Shoes fan. In fact, I can see a poster from a DJ set they did in Bournemouth almost two years ago, which is proudly stuck on my wall. I’ve listened to them for years and I thought I knew what to expect from their second album No Hope No Future.
It was a pleasant surprise the first time I listened to the album. Whilst the singles The Way My Heart Beats and Under Control have stayed pretty close to Good Shoes’ blueprint of snappy melodies and jerky guitars, others on the album are completely unexpected.
They’ve captured a more mature sound; it’s darker, with hints of distortion that contrast perfectly with Rhys Jones’ unique singing. In fact, it shows off Rhys’ voice more than their debut Think Before You Speak and that’s just one of the reasons why I think it’s a winner.
It shows a different side to Good Shoes – a side which fans will have seen coming if they managed to catch them at festivals last year. The album tracks the breakup of a relationship, starting out with The Way My Heart Beats and the telling lyrics “go on to your next conquest, but it’s always the same mistakes”. The whole album is written in a really clever way; it feels personal, but it’s reserved enough to stop dirty laundry being aired in those 30 minutes, and that’s a hard balance to get right.
They haven’t got everything perfect. I’m not a fan of A Thousand Miles An Hour, which is too banal for my liking. I find myself skipping this track every time I play the album. That’s followed by the stunning Then She Walks Away (which is Rhys’ favourite of the album tracks). The blend of distorted vocals and lyrics of heart break brings the song to life before the album closes with my favourite track, City By The Sea.
This is the perfect choice for a last song. It’s such a quiet, almost raw love song that you have to strain to hear it. It sounds like it should be a sad song; it’s the most melancholic track of the album, providing a stunning contrast to the lyrics about falling in love with another girl.
If you’re expecting a second dose of Small Town Girl or Never Meant To Hurt You, then you will be deeply disappointed by No Hope No Future. If you’re not, then I recommend getting a copy; my album has barely had a rest since I got it a few weeks ago and the more I listen to it, the more I love it.
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