2016-06-28 ALBUM REVIEW – THE SHOEPOLISHERS "s/t" (2016)

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The Shoepolishers “s/t” CirageProd SP07
Release date: April 28, 2016
Running time: 55:05, 13 tracks

ShoePolishers is a five piece band from the Belforth/Montbelliard area (Franche-Comté, France). Their current line-up is Boss (lead vocals, guitars, mandolin, tin whistle), Lu (fiddle, backing vocals), Steff (accordion), Turtle (bass, backing vocals) and Nils (drums, percussion and backing vocals). ShoePolishers was born in 2000 and currently Boss is the only founding member on the band. They released their debut album “Midi moins le quart” in 2002. Their second album was called “Cirage de Pompes” (2004) and their third studio album “Welcome to Blairoland” was issued in 2007. ShoePolishers have also recorded a live DVD, “Live” (2005) and  a live CD, “Live in Blairoland” (2011). Blairoland is the band’s universe. I guess that Blairoland means “le pays des blaireaux”. Blaireau is an animal (a badger), but this word also means an idiot or a bizarre guy. And, apparently, Blairoland is full of bizarre people.

My personal faves would be “Les Rois du radar”, “Whao Paulo”, “Tata Jojo”, “Happy End”, “Vendetta”, “Reel.. ax” and “Le Petit Ryan”. Anyway, ShoePolishers self-titled album is a well-balanced CD.

ShoePolishers deliver a festive folk rock with a Celtic twist from the first track, “Les rois du radar”. Remember that a video for this song can be watched HERE .

The next number, “Whao Paulo” has a Celtas Cortos twist. The song begins and ends with a tin whistle and there is a traditional fiddle number too.

Tata Jojo” is another party number: a mandolin opens for this ska infused song. Great fiddle part and interesting French accordion towards the end.

Reel … ax” is obviously a set of tunes, one of them “Tam Lin”. The band sounds really tight: fiddle, accordion, rhythm section … An amazing number with a live feel.

Happy End” has a vocal intro before bursting into an awesome lively number. The next track, “Vendetta”, has an addictive chorus with some la-la-las.

Le petit Ryan” is a piano based song. Normally, ShoePolishers offer festive numbers, but this one tells us about all the shames of the XXIst society (video for this song HERE ).

Regarding the other tracks on the album, “Shoep on Tour” has a reggae vibe and a kick-ass sing-along chorus “Hé, hé! Il est toujours là. À chaque concert je le retrouve planté devant moi”.

ShoePolishers come back to the reggae territory with “Soir de foot”, but they speed up on the fiddle driven infectious chrorus. Nice battle between fiddle and accordion on this song.

Guest Sylvain plays helicon (a sort of tuba) on “La Pêche aux thons”. The fiddle part in the second half of the song has an Eastern feel.

Sonate de la pinte de Guinness”, is a slow accordion instrumental while  “La Monosexuelle” has a British folk-rock influence. It’s followed by  the last song: “ShoePolishers” an upbeat semi-instrumental, as the lyrics are only … ShoePolishers.

The album comes in a 6 panel digipack.  The excellent artwork was designed by Jack (Magic Fingers) who also drew the comic book for the album and videos. The 8 page booklet states all the relevant info and ShoePolishers thank every fan that pledged to fund the album, but the lyrics are not included.

If you are looking for a good album for the summer, ShoePolishers are a festival band that you will enjoy: a blend of Celtas Cortos, Mano Negra and Tofu Love Frogs. Grab a bottle of Pelforth brune and dance to their latest album.

Tracklist:

01 – Les rois du radar 5:11
02 – Shoep on tour 3:51
03 – tata jojo 4:15
04 – Reel … ax 3:29
05 – Whao Paulo 4:09
06 – Soir de foot 5:13
07 – La pêche aux thons 5:16
08 – Happy end 3.58
09 – vendetta 3:21
10 – Sonate de la pinte de Guinness au clair de lune 3:55
11 – La monosexuelle 4:42
12 – Le petit ryan 5:20
13 – Shoepolishers 2:23

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Click to buy:

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Contact the band on facebook to buy a CD

Review by Kinksmarkham

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