Heavy Shoes is a compelling statement of freedom and defeating the struggles of darkness during these post pandemic times. Yet currently the pandemic rages on, and perhaps this fantastic duet of Chris Tapp and Brian Mullins are content on giving us something to celebrate.
Certainly, Cold Stares succeeds in delivering a crafty and defining blues rock masterpiece, one of the best to lead the pack, serving as a model for new music as the 20s begin.
The packaging all together is quite attractive and appealing, everything from it being a marvelous listening experience to the dynamite artwork and liner notes.Those who are fans of Cold Stares already find themselves cheering them on now for the better part of a decade, yet their artistry, presence and charm never fails to bring aboard new listeners and a growing base.
I’m quite happy with this effort, a baker’s dozen of spellbinding songs so embalmed in the genre of blues, that it’s nothing short of alluring.
Here from the second you put down the needle on this tasty vinyl, you’ll be blown away by the stellar scope and meat of the finished product. The music and message on each track is beautifully laced with the heart of Cold Stares, it’s identity as an artist mature and bound for even greater things as they continue their summer tour in Europe.
The real strength of Cold Stares vision and purpose here can be found through the careful and attentive deeper listening. From the pulsating percussion of “Save You From You” (seemingly taken straight from the White Album’s playbook), to the summer-laden feeling brewing in “Dust in My Hands,” this group skillfully reveals its numerous dynamics and shades of instrumental color to the forefront in each tune. “Take this Body from Me” is quite passionate and riveting, complete with the trademark distortion guitars and eclectic drums that make this album great and such a pleasure to listen to. And their material rarely gets old, as songs like the refreshing touch of “Prosecution Blues” are charming with each new listen.
First and foremost, blues music can’t be genuinely created and produced without digging deep into the roots of soul. This tandem of Tapp and Mullins are perhaps first and foremost a poet and wizard of storytelling, and the true knack to delivering effective blues is orchestrating that story, those initial lyrics with a powerful, ethereal band sound. I call this the “Wall of Sound” That’s quite a gift. And I believe, without a doubt Cold Stares has it. I can’t get enough of the group’s ingenuity and the time it must have taken to perfect their guitar riffs, their vocals on the verse, breathtaking chorus hook after hook, and the witty percussion throughout that makes this album breathe the magic oxygen of the blues rock gods, helping it come to life.
With skill and brains, Cold Stares have succeeded in delivering a complete record, both soothing to rock fans ears and fun to dance and live to. And don’t we all want to live life to the fullest? My mark? A dazzling effort.