Frequent listeners to Dublin’s Radio Nova will, no doubt, be familiar with The Shoos’ previous single Long Way Down. The heartfelt yet catchy rock song is an ideal radio track, and, while The Shoo’s debut album ‘Panic Slowly’ does not really contain any tracks that are as instantly suited to radio play (Long Way Down featured on the band’s previous EP, Rescue Room), the album instead has a wide emotional range and rich depth that deserves and rewards listens.
Fans of Snow Patrol will no doubt find a lot to appreciate in The Shoos’ blend of melodic pop-rock on display on ‘Panic Slowly’. Indeed the key to the Shoos sound is the incredibly soulful vocal range of frontman Tex, whose rough, bluesy voice carries with it a deep emotional weight that would give Gary Lightbody a run for his money.
‘Panic Slowly’ opens with new single Say Something, which documents the story of the band’s investors and how the move to LA fell through. It is slow-burning and mellow, and displays the band’s ability to combine sweet guitar rhythms and starkly sad, yet beautiful, lyrics. Same As Me keeps this tone going strong, with deeply memorable lyrics like “you’re the last branch breaking my fall/ you’re the footbridge I could never follow” running throughout.
The melancholic, acoustic track Battlescars is one of the real highlights; with its slow building melody and almost mournful tone that this kind of voice is absolutely perfectly suited to. Going in the other direction, Am What I Am embraces the band’s rock influences with a bass into and blues rock rhythm. By the time the chorus kicks in with its waves of echoing backing vocals, the song has achieved an almost haunting quality, and one which will stick in your head for days to come for reason you can’t exactly explain.
The album closes on a deeply melancholic note with the piano driven Wide Awake. The track dives into a full on gospel choir sound, ending the album in a very different place from where it began. ‘Panic Slowly’ is clearly the work of a band not afraid to play around with a host of influences, but it is also an album which never deviates too far from a sound The Shoos have clearly perfect as their own. The Shoos are definitely a band to watch out for on the Irish music scene.