Shy Boyscontinue to bridge the gap between the basement and the stage with the release of their debut, self-titled LP. With efficiency and restrained flourish the boys have spun off 10 pop yarns, many of which are apt to linger long past their modest 24-minute duration. While the bulk of the earworms are front-loaded the album doesn’t flag nor does it deviate in its trajectory. The consistency of this record demonstrates that the Shy Boys know their strengths and are not ashamed to stick with them.
Such reliability is probably why Shy Boys, composed of the brothers Collin and Kyle Rausch and friend Konnor Ervin, have enjoyed a recent burst in popularity. In short order they’ve managed to endear themselves to a variety of local bands and fans, the label High Dive Records, and assorted music journalism outlets. It’s no wonder they recently won The Pitch award for Best Band Everyone Can Agree On. They’re appeal is almost egalitarian. Of course it doesn’t hurt to be backed by Solid Gold, the same talent agency that promotes the likes of Dirty Beaches, The Dodos, and The Sea And Cake.
Call it playing it safe, but what Shy Boys lack in boundary-pushing they make up for in general likeability. This record can easily play in the background, comfortably command the car stereo, or be the gentle panacea for your private boi slash gurl bedroom troubles; odds are the record will fit most settings without much abrasion. That’s the idea. Kudos given.
Much of the album’s warm roughness is owed to its simple and straightforward nature as well as the inherent qualities found by recording live to tape. For this engineering feat the nod is given to Mike Nolteof Westend Recording, a studio known for their dedicated use of the medium. Sure, the reverb is cranked and the vocals can be muddied into ambiguity, but those cool, moody hooks are enough to keep the record spinning on repeat.
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