Building off of the solo singer songwriter project of Shane Ellis, Foot Shooter is a four-piece rock band based in Memphis, Tennessee. Their latest album entitled Commuter features soul, folk and blues influences and revolves around themes of confession, transition, repetition and nostalgia.
The first song on the record, “Feel the Thrill” begins with a subdued bluesy riff on a lone acoustic guitar before transitioning into one of the catchiest instrumental layers on the album. A piercing combination of acoustic and electric guitars strike out chords over top of reverb-heavy mellow electric guitars as solid percussion lays down the beat. Ellis’s vocals are noticeable for their emotive and unfettered quality, which is especially evident in “Repetition, Repetition,” which incorporates a slow groove as well as an upbeat garage rock segment.
“Zeroes” features the typical rock band setup, along with a funky rock organ, which brings a nice variety to the band’s sound. Although “400 Blown” takes a while to get going, once it gains the dynamic momentum, the song sails smoothly through to the ending with accompanying horns and spoken word snippets. The midpoint of the album “Lovely” grabs the listener’s attention from the very start with Ellis’s voice carrying the bulk of the song’s energy through a barren soundscape of drums and eventually full guitar chords.
The record slows down the tempo a bit with “Not Done Loving You Yet” a melodious ballad that exemplifies the band’s ability to develop interesting sounds without necessarily blasting out speakers while doing so. The softer trend continues with the retro, lo-fi “Ready to Fight” but band returns to its usual high-energy status towards the end of the song.
Foot Shooter does not lift their foot off the pedal at the end of the record; instead, the band continues to experiment with new sounds and styles until the very last note. “Motives” is based on classic rock & roll motifs with modern themes added on top. “Cloths,” the last song, contains a slight beach-wave approach with smooth vocals and echoing guitars bringing the album to a climactic close. Overall, Commuter is a brilliant release that proves the talent and capabilities of Foot Shooter, a band discontent with the status quo and willing to test the musical waters until they find their very own groove.
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