Brown Shoe – Vanity

Brown Shoe – Vanity / 2007 Self / 13 Tracks /

It is a hell of time trying to find a band when you’ve screwed up their name. For the longest time, I thought the band’s name was “Brown Shoes” instead of “Brown Shoe”. After I got that problem worked out, I was able to hear the powerful indie rock of the band. Brown Shoe reminds me a lot of Desert City Soundtrack in the same emotional intensity is present in the instrumentation of both bands. The vocals have a little bit of a Neil Young sound to them, so there is that blending of new and old that will get butts in seats. The production is the final piece of the puzzle, and it allows the band’s higher registers to have a little bit of fuzz without completely oppressing the band’s sound.

“The Ship” starts out with a single note being played on the piano, and while this does not really continue the same momentum that is present on other tracks of the album, it does give listeners a sense that the band is acting as storytellers, and that “The Ship” really operates as the process of opening up the book and starting out in a calm way. The emotional intensity is present, but it takes a few minutes to really get started. “The Ship” has a little bit of a Interpol / Modest Mouse sound to it. This track is able to build on that foundation with their own unique sound, setting the stage for what is a very solid album all around. “Screaming Dinosaurs” is another interesting track, and this is not only because of the interesting title.

The vocals continue their Neil Young-like sound, but the bass and drums unite to create something that sounds closer to early nineties Cure than anything else. Brown Shoe impresses throughout the whole of “Vanity”. They have only been cutting albums for a few years but there is a maturity present that far outstrips a vast majority of the bands trying to make it big during the current period. I just am curious whether they would be able to transfer the same intensity and energy to the live stage that is present throughout each and every second of “Vanity”. Hit up the band’s Myspace and listen to samples for the album, decide for yourself; I have a feeling that you will like what you hear.

Top Tracks: The Ship, Screaming Dinosaurs

Rating: 6.1/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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