Young, primed on British post-punk, and absolutely wired with energy: It’s no shock that South London’s Good Shoes is building buzz in the U.K. But as an introduction, this hit-and-miss EP will likely leave stateside listeners unsatisfied.
Clocking in at a total of eight-and-a-half minutes, these four songs resurrect the angular guitars of early XTC and the indifferent speak-sing of Wire’s Colin Newman. And somehow they manage to sidestep the arty edge of the former and the abrasive menace of the latter. Instead, Good Shoes just sounds giddy to be playing music at all.
That’s not a bad thing on the effervescent title track. All hand claps, predictable stops and starts, and Rhys Jones’s breathlessly emphatic vocals, it rises well above the sum of its influences. The rest of the EP, though, pales. Only “Deathfame” offers glimmers of the title track’s brilliance, addictively pairing rough chording with a hyperactive Tom Verlaine-style lead.
With a debut LP looming, The Photos on My Wall shows a young, incredibly tight band still navigating a swirl of influences. With a little growing up (and a willingness to mix up the tempo occasionally), Good Shoes could very well transcend is status as a precocious pupil.
“The Photos on My Wall” MP3: