The Shilohs - S/T - 2014 Vancouver Canada Indie Folk Rock LP

In stock
The Shilohs - S/T

Light Organ Records
Vinyl LP
Vancouver, BC, Canada


1. Student of Nature
2. Ordinary People
3. Champagne Days
4. Sisters of Blue
5. Strange Connections
6. Folks on Trains

7. Palm Readers
8. Porch Light
9. Bless Those Boys
10. Down at the Bottom of Bottomland
11. Queen Light Queen Dark
12. Days of Wine

The Shilohs self-titled 2014 LP ( 2nd LP ) has shades of the melodically-infused beloved Big Star #1 Record. If The Shilohs have studied Big Star or Teenage Fanclub, well, good for them. I’ll give them praise and high marks from learning the craft. If they haven’t, they deserve even more praise for just knowing the mastery of writing a strong pop hook on their own. No matter what, this is a win-win proposition because this album is just damned good. Quality production, tight harmonies and wonderful melodies strung around bouncy, jangly, crisp guitars, bass and drums.

“Student Of Nature” is an immediate keeper; with bright strum, classic late ’60`s/early ’70;s arrangements, harmonies, handclaps – you know this album is going to be a good time. “Ordinary People” has a clean, almost early-Feelies like vibe; the vocals brought me back to my own teen youth – stellar. “Strange Connections”, with its bass-driven intro pushes the track into a garage-revival explosion; “Palm Readers” has the perfect melding of R.E.M., The Byrds, etc. and the Paisley Underground. “Down At The Bottom Of Bottomland” is a neat, organ/acoustic guitar bouncer; “Queen Light Queen Dark” reminds me a little of The Dream Syndicate, as does “Days Of Wine” – but there you go…

The Shilohs are a rock band in the timeless sense of the term. They consist of four friends who play tight and tuneful pop, harmonizing sweetly and delivering their songs with to-the-point sincerity.

Johnny Payne (vocals/guitar), Mike Komaszczuk (vocals/guitar), Daniel Colussi (vocals/bass) and Ben Frey (drums) met while playing in various bands in Vancouver, BC, and they formed The Shilohs in 2008. “We formed with the concept of being a band that writes short, snappy pop songs,” Colussi remembers. “In Vancouver at the time, there were lots of stoner rock bands. We wanted to be different.”

Someone should tell The Shilohs that it’s not 1968 any more. Apparently the Vancouver indie pop-rock quartet hasn’t received the memo.

Or better yet, don’t. Because then they would get with the times and stop making the fantastic brand of summery flower-speckled rock they’ve been churning out for a couple of years, and we wouldn’t get to enjoy the kind of material The Shilohs are offering on their sophomore self-titled album.

Echoes of John Lennon’s psychedelia-splashed Beatles-era tunes (Sisters Of Blue, Strange Connections), touches of Dan Bejar’s New Pornographers output (Student of Nature), and hints of early days Bowie abound here (the eerie, string-laden Bless Those Boys). And while the influences could easily yield an album that rings like a hollow pastiche, this is definitely as good as the sum of its parts.

You have to give Johnny Payne (vocals/guitar), Mike Komaszczuk (vocals/guitar), Daniel Colussi (vocals/bass) and Ben Frey (drums) their due credit: Six years after forming The Shilohs, they have become a unit that can hopscotch from jangle pop to lysergic guitar landscaping without missing a beat, and they do so with impeccable simplicity.

Produced by John Collins and Dave Carswell, The Shilohs’ self-titled effort shines, making for a collection that could well become the band’s calling card to bigger things.

They released a self-titled EP in 2010, and signed to Light Organ Records for 2013′s acclaimed debut full-length, So Wild. The album prompted Spin to praise the band’s “delicious bit of Big Star-informed, Feelies-indebted pop,” while The Vancouver Sun gave it four stars and called it “a golden pop-rock nugget.”

Now, a little more than a year later, The Shilohs are back with a self-titled sophomore album. Once again, the collection was recorded with esteemed production duo John Collins and Dave Carswell (Destroyer, the New Pornographers), with sessions taking place at Vancouver’s iconic Mushroom Studios (a.k.a. Hipposonic Studios) and at JC/DC Studios. Payne, Komaszczuk and Colussi all shared frontman duties, with each contributing his own material to the project.

“It’s less purposefully referencing country rock and power-pop,” Colussi says of the sonically varied results. “It’s a little bit more all over the place.”

Payne agrees and adds, “There were three of us writing the songs, so it was inevitable. This time, it was a free-for-all. We have a bit more confidence, so we weren’t afraid to make one song completely different from another.”

This anything-goes approach is exemplified by the psych-tinged “Strange Connections,” which is laced with manic guitars. “Queen Light Queen Dark” culminates in a similarly noisy six-string freakout, while “Bless Those Boys” is a sprawling piano ballad with flourishes of baroque strings, and “Days of Wine” closes the album with beautifully bittersweet violin.

Elsewhere, breezy cuts like “Student of Nature,” “Champagne Days” and “Palm Readers” display The Shilohs’ enduring love of harmony-laced pop. Some of these songs were recorded entirely live to tape, while others were built using more meticulous layering.

The outfit spent the early part of 2014 travelling across North America with Real Estate, and more tours are planned for later in the year. With three songwriters operating at the top of their game, the band is continuing to churn out classic-sounding slices of pop magic. Not beholden to the past, nor concerned with blazing new trails, The Shilohs are living proof that catchy hooks and honest lyricism will never go out of style.

The Shilohs - Sisters Of Blue

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The Shilohs - Student of Nature

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The Shilohs - Palm Readers

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More Information
Condition New
Format LP
Label Light Organ Records