Good Shoes - No Hope, No Future
It should be abundantly clear from the album title that things have changed for Good Shoes. On their 2007 debut the subject matter was pretty introverted, issues close to home about the streets on which they lived and their relationships dominated the lyrics. But it would appear that a dark cloud has settled over them. These four young men have widened their eyes to the world and it seems they don’t like what they see.
‘Everything You Do’ sets up their stall early on and it’s apparent that a shadow is looming. It’s downbeat and darker than anything they have done before - but it sounds like a show tune compared to ‘I Know’. Its message, like a blunt instrument to the temple is plain and simple: as a society we are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Before they sang about the idiots that made life in ‘Morden’ frustrating; here Rhys Jones exclaims “I think we’re past the point where we can hope for any kind of return, I think we’ve screwed ourselves and future generations over”, suggesting there is more wrong than the discovery of a crumpled can of Stella in the garden.
It isn’t all doom and gloom, however. ‘A Thousand Miles An Hour’ pays homage to The Modern Lovers' ‘Roadrunner’, getting straight to the point and is over in under two minutes. The uber-funky ‘Under Control’ is tremendous and was an obvious choice for the first single. Their angular staccato delivery remains at the core, but they are embellishing on these solid foundations. Notes that would have been allowed to ring out have been damped and muted. Alongside their maturing writing style they are more inventive, without moving too far away from what originally brought them to the record buying public’s attention.
It’s this vision beyond their own lives and local area that makes No Hope, No Future a significantly more substantial experience. They’ve stepped out from being yet another okay band and are now a serious proposition. It’s either a bold commercial move or someone in the band desperately needs a hug. Either way this is a great record.