I can’t really say I’m a massive fan of all these new indie-pop bands popping up every other day, but Good Shoes debut album Think Before You Speak is making me change my mind about the ‘latest sensation’. I have to admit, I went to see them play recently, and due to my booze intake and the size of the venue, I kind of missed their set. I heard them though, and was quite impressed.
Think Before You Speak combines the sounds of the new Thamesbeat scene- a mix of upbeat technical guitar pop and intelligent lyrics- and musical influences from modern bands like The Futureheads, all the way back to indie pioneers like Gang Of Four, The Jam and Buzzcocks. They have clearly drawn on The Futureheads start-stop sound and style, helped along by vocalist Rhys Jones’ singing and witty analysis of people and places.
Stand-out tracks on the album are Nazanin, a simple yet very confessional look at Jones’ self, as well as the paranoia-driven anthem of All In My Head. But I always think the best songs are those written about where you grew up. Morden regales the bands hometown and how, although it should be a nice leafy suburb town in South West London, it is actually a shit-hole full of skinheads, drug dealers, and alcoholics singing 80’s pop whilst stumbling out the pub.
I’m always worried when a new band appears that sound very similar to everything else that’s around right now. It seems far too easy just to disappear if you don’t make a good first album. Good Shoes have managed to produce a very good, well-rounded first album, and sure to be around for while to come.