This is THE SHOES keeps it raw and authentic
This Is THE SHOES (Independent)
The Mississippi Delta is regarded as the undisputed home of the blues, but Christ knows there’s plenty to get down about if you live in Vancouver. There’s the reality you’ll never own so much as a tarpaper shack unless you’re related to Jimmy Pattison, the legendary standoffishness of our citizens, and, most of all, the nonstop fucking torrential rains. It’s all enough to make Wayne Coyne think about reaching for the rusty razor blades.
Like the Pack a.d. back in the Tintype days, This Is THE SHOES doesn’t sound like a band from around these parts, the two-piece obsessed with the kind of blues that brings to mind corrugated-tin juke joints and back-yard bourbon stills. Impossibly, Jereme Collette (guitar, kick drum, and vocals) and Sabrina Robson (vocals, harmonica, and percussion) seem like the real deal, as opposed to cracker-coloured cultural tourists.
Instead of cranking the amps, This Is THE SHOES keeps things raw, songs like “Change It Up” and the harp-blazed “Money” more in the spirit of R.L. Burnside than the Black Keys. Over the course of the six authentic-sounding tracks, Robson moans and growls like Jennifer Herrema mainlining Janis Joplin, while Collette makes a good case that every instrument he owns comes from a scuzz-town junkyard.
The record’s greatest moment is “Raining in Vancouver”, which starts with a monsoon sample and then eases into a smouldering lament that almost makes you long for the next West Coast November. Depressing? Only if you’re not accustomed to an occasional case of the blues.
Follow Mike Usinger on the Tweeter at twitter.com/mikeusinger.