Shelby The Luxury of Time

[Gigantic Music; 2005]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles:  shoegaze
Others: My Bloody Valentine, The Wedding Present, U2

Racing analogies are going to plague this band for as long as they are around, so let me throw my hat into the ring. Having taken their name from a 1960's racecar builder, Shelby, succinctly, is shoegaze for racing fans. I'm not talking about that Nascar racing shit. I'm talking Le Mans and twists and turns. Where it's not all agro-American and about going as fast as you can all the time or how loud you can be when you whiz past the crowd; rather, it's about the appropriate use of speed. Where other artists have failed in the gogogo vein of trying to rock us, Shelby has taken the time to plot out a course, slow things down when necessary, and shoegaze when they hit everything just right.

There, however, is still something that I can't grab on to. It's the kind of album that makes you hate yourself for hating certain sounds but not knowing why you hate them. It's not that Shelby fits this overall sound, per se, rather, they bring to light many of the tiny elements that make a sound easy to hate; but they do it in such a way that you can't really poke any holes in what they are doing. Not to say that is what I am trying to accomplish with this review, there are just some things that make you listen a little harder.

The vocals are a little more stadium rock and swooping video shots than I prefer and the lyrics weren't anything transcendental. Some of the slower parts of the album seem boring and predictable while some of the faster areas seem boring and predictable as well (kind of like that sentence). It's this combination that brings to mind much of the music today that is flakey and unoriginal. Their shoe gaze, however, is often spot on fan-fucking-tastic, and I feel horrible for ever writing anything bad about the album at all. A lot of people will be able to find a lot of great things with Shelby. It's just too bad they couldn't have written this review.

1. Golden Boy
2. Loudon Wainwright
3. Wait
4. Modify Myself
5. Marigolds
6. Jet Blast (Shame)
7. Salt of the Earth
8. Green Eyes
9. Blue Becomes You
10. Riviera
11. Let It Be Me