Guest Post: Matt Simon on LA rockers Brown Shoe

by Matt Simon

In the ever-evolving musical landscape we currently find ourselves, LA rock outfit Brown Shoe may be on to something. In perhaps an attempt to battle shortened musical attention spans, splitting one LP into three concise EP’s makes sense. The second installment of this experiment, Lonely Beast Part Two, is a tight and atmospheric piece of indie gold.

“I’ve got reservations about your reservations” sings lead vocalist Ryan Baggaley (one of four brothers comprising the band) on “Reservations”. The track starts out like something comparable to a lost track in The Temper Trap or My Morning Jacket catalog but then quickly burst into a rock tune heavy on reverb, which stands distinctively on its own.

The gem of Lonely Beast Part Two has to be “Are You Up” which is perfect for a contemplative drive to nowhere accompanied with your personal demons and regrets. “Why give up, when we could give in?” opens this five and a half minute atmosphere creating tune (think Explosions in the Sky) which shows a band unconcerned with attention spans or rock sensibilities. A song about a flawed relationship, a theme found throughout the EP, makes one think about the possibility of rekindling one or many doomed relationships.

This relationship meets its all too familiar end the piano driven album closer “Circus” which asks “Is this better for you . . . if I am alone?” amidst crunchy guitar parts heavy drums. The band hits their musical stride on this track, which comes as a benefit of having five releases under their belts. Building in aggression, this album does what few can by leaving the listener wanting more. This is certainly the best compliment you can give this band of brothers, and might be proof that splitting a solid release into three excellent installments is the way to go.

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