I don’t know anything about this band from Vancouver, B.C., but upon first listen, The Shilohs self-titled sophomore album has shades of another melodically-infused band’s maiden release… Of course, I’m referring to my beloved Big Star #1 Record. If The Shilohs have studied Big Star or Teenage Fanclub, well, good for them. I’ll give them praise and high marks from learning the craft. If they haven’t, they deserve even more praise for just knowing the mastery of writing a strong pop hook on their own. No matter what, this is a win-win proposition because this album is just damned good. Quality production, tight harmonies and wonderful melodies strung around bouncy, jangly, crisp guitars, bass and drums.
“Student Of Nature” is an immediate keeper; with bright strum, classic late ’60’s/early ’70’s arrangements, harmonies, handclaps – you know this album is going to be a good time. “Ordinary People” has a clean, almost early-Feelies like vibe; the vocals brought me back to my own teen youth – stellar. “Strange Connections”, with its bass-driven intro pushes the track into a garage-revival explosion; “Palm Readers” has the perfect melding of R.E.M., The Byrds, etc. and the Paisley Underground. “Down At The Bottom Of Bottomland” is a neat, organ/acoustic guitar bouncer; “Queen Light Queen Dark” reminds me a little of The Dream Syndicate, as does “Days Of Wine” – but there you go…
Enough can’t be said at how impressed I am of this album. I can only hope that The Shilohs will continue to make great records. Be sure to get this terrific product.
The Shiloh’s self-titled album will be released May 13th, 2014