Following a fateful meeting, guitarists Derek Van Gieson and Chris White began to create music together under the banner of A Marriage at Nevers. By the time they brought vocalist Tess Weinberg on board, they’d already managed to compose upwards of a hundred songs. With the singer quickly adding a new dynamic to the writing process, it wasn’t long before drummer Elliot Manthey and bassist Tim Heinlein arrived to complete the lineup. Thus, Minneapolis based alt-rock ensemble Murder Shoes was born.

The band are currently preparing to release their eponymous EP through Land Ski Records on May 1st. Beginning with “Charlotte Manning”, an ominous musical introduction precedes soft vocals that unfold during a relaxed verse. The guitars get heavier and speed up as things progress, joining forces with purposeful percussion. It’s a mellow, laid back piece that still manages to be very lively and boisterous by its end.

It’s followed by the bustling instrumental opening of “Maybe You Can”. Moving forward urgently into a resonant melody, cymbals ring out in the background alongside foreboding riffs that generate a frantic sound. It’s an energetic alternative anthem that has an enthrallingly original flavour. “Under the Sea” stomps out of its wake upon a wild drum beat and frenzied guitars before giving way to a light and contented harmony. Its eager pace and optimistic vocals are extremely captivating.

“Sea a Little Louder” taps in next via reserved but determined percussion ahead of a powerful bass line and absorbing guitars. Toning back during the sobering verse, it soon erupts again for a chorus that builds constantly as it develops. The continuous shift in momentum between slow and steady and loud and lively is perfectly executed, working very well. “In Your Bed or on a Train” races along afterwards through furious drums that charge into a relentless riff and frenetic vocals. The intense velocity and brisk instrumentation are incredibly arresting, finishing the record with an overload of enthusiasm and vigour.

Murder Shoes have crafted some remarkably unique material whose forceful and singular style really draws attention to itself. There’s a splendid balance between the peculiar and the regular on each track when it comes to conventional rock idioms. Featuring accomplished instrumental work and melodic vocals, it’s a fascinating compilation that is most certainly worth taking the time to investigate. Head over to Bandcamp for a preview.

Graduate of NUI Maynooth's Department of English, passionate writer of fiction and creative non-fiction alike. Mad about music, movies and books. If there's anything I enjoy more than listening, watching and reading, it's writing about what I listen to, watch and read! Check me out at davecsimpson.wordpress.com, find me on Twitter @davesimpson1 or drop me a line at dave@puremzine.com