September 19, 2009

Mod-A-Day: The Shoes

The Shoes were the epitome of 70s power pop. They managed to influence rock, power pop, new wave, alternative, indie, and twee bands after them. Not bad. Every band in every single one of those genres owes a debt of gratitude to The Shoes whether they know it or not. And the good oens know it, like The Posies, or Material Issue, or Weezer, and even their contemporary colleagues Cheap Trick.

From the very beginning in the mid 70s they had a DIY ethos that always rang true in their recordings, even when they were produced in lavish studios in the latter half of the 80s. The songs were short, tight and ... well exactly what power pop songs should be. Still their best work was their early work especially 1979's Present Tense and 1981's Tongue Twister. The band had quite the range from the jangly, twee like "Your Very Eyes", to the spikey new wavish "Your Imagination", to the Jam like (trust me on this one) "Cruel You", to the ephemeral and very British "Every Girl". The Shoes pretty much drew the map for future indie pop bands to follow.

The Shoes -- Too Late

The Shoes -- Your Very Eyes

The Shoes -- Cruel You