No Hope No Future
What’s keeping you from being a pop star these days? The Byrds sang “So you want to be a rock and roll star… ” and now it’s easier than ever. Sure, you still need to take the time to learn how to play, but you can strive to match the Good Shoes, a low-budget, high-promise group out of the UK. Their recent No Hope No Future came together for just about 5000 pounds, and if they financed it on Visa, at least they haven’t sold their soul to the company.
These boys from London and its environs hearken back to the good times pub rock of Slade and Uriah Heep, but the music has picked up all the progress gained from the past 40 years of rocking. There are Buzzcocks-influenced guitar licks on “Do You Remember?” and Devo stop-start drumming on “The Way My Heart Beats.” Lead singer Rhys Jones might have sung for Stiff Little Fingers and the parallels to the classic early Brit Punk are endless, but that doesn’t mean they are a cover band or a revival act; they’ve absorbed the style and folded in the cultural yeast of the post-Barney twittering modern day. There’s even a power ballad (be still my KISS overloaded little heart!) called “City By The Sea.” What do they sound like on this track? Hmm… A depoliticized Robyn Hitchcock? Or Morrissey on a good day? Either way, there’s still life in short pop songs, and it doesn’t take the might of MCA to make music that’s palatable to the modern ear.