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No Hope, No Future left me unsatisfied, plain as that. A few steps behind the Arctic Monkeys, the Kooks, and Franz Ferdinand, the Good Shoes seem to have not yet developed a signature sound. The bass player, Will Church, is the anchor to this sprout of a band. He is their third and hopefully last bass player in the past three years. There is some impressive bass playing on this album, which gets bogged down by the mediocre vocals and drums.

With the exception of “Under Control,” which is passably danceable, this album is full of short blasé pub songs that blow their wad in the first 20 seconds. You think they are going to pick up at some point, but they stay on their stool and barely move. Lazy bastards.

Track 3, “I Know,” isn't even a song as much as it a rant about blind faith set to music. There is nothing catchy here.

The diamond in the rough is the final track, “City by the Sea.” While most of the songs seem to be watered down yawners, this one actually has substance. It’s a quiet, regretful tune about promises made to a lost love. It’s the longest track at 4:15 and the only one where singer Rhys Jones isn't trying to impress you. The result, ironically, is impressive.

  • Album title: No Hope, No Future (2010)
  • Artist: The Good Shoes
  • Label: Brille Records
  • Songs: (1) The Way My Heart Beats (2) Everything You Do (3) I Know (4) Under Control (5) Do You Remember (6) Our Loving Mother in a Pink Diamond (7) Times Change (8) Thousand Miles an Hour (9) Then She Walks Away (10) City by the Sea
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