Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Shys: You'll Never Understand This Band the Way That I Do - Album Review

When I got the new Shys album in the mail, I wondered what The Shys would have to say? What have they been cooking up? Will it measure up to the first album, "Astoria"? That album was filled with heavy grooves, a lot of angst, and a few great songs. It also had one of my favorite rock n roll songs in years: 'Call In The Cavalry', so my expectations were high.

You'll Never Understand This Band the Way That I Do
The album starts with a great instrumental track 'Spanish Village by the Sea', which basically sets the backbone of this record. The whole album flows together & feels like one long piece, not a bunch of songs hashed out & forced together, or a lackluster attempt at making soul music.

Not one song stands out as the albums finest moment--the album should be taken as a whole. The Shys are just setting a mood with You'll Never Understand This Band The Way I Do, which would be lost by flipping song to song. The feel I get on this album is basically 'How Do You Sleep' / ‘Gimme Some Truth’ era John Lennon, Kyle Krone's vocals all rootsy and angst ridden.

Some of my favorite moments on this record are:
Hangman: Great heavy slide & anthemic chorus. A definite sing-a-long.
Savior: this song maybe the jewel of this album. Amazing intro of stutters & stops, & such a soulful feel. Then cutting into a very smooth chorus.
Brother Please: Like 'Savior', it has that Plastic Ono Band feel to it.
The first single She's Already Gone: with flavors reminiscent of The Band, it just rounds out the tone for this effort.

All in all You'll Never Understand This Band The Way I Do is an amazing step forward for The Shys, taking their knack for writing blues / soul influenced indie rock to another level. No shtick or pretention, ala the Black Kids. This isn’t lightweight indie music. This is 5 guys making soul music with angst & feeling. They've shown a knack for making not only a hit song, but a record that really flows together. Definitely not a case of the sophomore slump.