The Velcro Shoes is a band name I expect to hear more frequently in the future after listening to their fourth album All That You Are. As far as the alt-rock genre goes, I typically get a sense for how things are gonna go, not so much with these guys. All nine tracks are solid and worth your time.
The band operates out of Pittsburgh, PA with vocalist Eric Emerson leading the charge with extensive experience being on the road with other bands. Pittsburgh seems to be a place of destiny for the band as all roads somehow lead there in their creation. Fate or not, this group has found a rhythm with one another and makes invigorating music.
Upon reading the description of the album I was instantly wary of the words “organic sound.” Allow me to explain, in the past when artists have described their work as “organic” it was actually code for “we know nothing of audio engineering and couldn’t pay someone.” The result often being an at home recording project gone horribly wrong that sours the milk of the music.
I want to thank The Velcro Shoes for showing me that this is not always the case. The band wanted to capture the live show aspect of their music, and I would LOVE to see these guys live. Bottom line, it worked, the production gives the music a grungy, crunchy edge that complements their aesthetic.
The Velcro Shoes’ sound is one that is unified, but not predictable. This is a band that I believe to be at its finest when they are going hard and fast. At times, they veer into this cool, early punk sound that rattled my spine. You get a good taste of that right from the start with track one “In the Frame.” There was no better song to fill that initial spot and I would say that as a whole the album’s arrangement was spot on. Only a couple of tracks fell even remotely flat for me, most notably track three “Love Will Serve.” The song is lovely but compared to the others slid into a “meh” category for me personally.
The guitar work from Mike Slobodian and Bill Krowinski is off the charts awesome. These guys are fearless when it comes to pushing the genre into a harder, rougher place. The best asset those two could have to keep pace with them is drummer Garrett Bogden. It’s all tied together with twine thanks to Emerson’s vocals which show a serious level of experience. Too often when a band goes for the harder side, we get a vocalist who loves to channel their inner hair band and just cheese ball all over a perfectly good thing. Again, I love to see exceptions to the rules and The Velcro Shoes keep on bringing the pleasant surprises.
What excites me most about this album is the range of fans that I imagine they have collected. While I tend to stay in the surfier, lighter side of this genre, I was completely into it. I think they have more than enough edge to pull in hard rock fans. They even managed to woo my metal head husband, an incredibly picky man when it comes to music. All in all, this album is a triumph. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
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