A solid reissue from a band I’ve heard about but never heard more than a song or two. Power pop the way it should be, emphasis on the power. It only makes sense! I mean, some of the blahs I’ve had to sit through that have been hailed as power pop gems (The Flame? Gah!) Listening to Black Vinyl Shoes gives me the same good feeling inside as when I first heard that RadioCity reissue from a few years back (another band that got the “power” part of the equation right.). “It Really Hurts” is really the best song on this slab. Bass takes the lead, fuzzed but still solid, lyrics heartfelt but not mope-y, and a searing, psych-tinged lead midway through that ties it all together. The packaging is aces. Heavy stock cardboard cover, 150 gram vinyl, a T-shirt iron on (yes) and a wax paper-esque thingy glued to the cover (with some praise from Ira Robbins of Trouser Press fame, and a back-handed compliment from Robert Christgau. Seriously, that guy’s a dick.) I peeled off this wax paper-esque thingy and removed the glue from the cover but I’m keeping it in the sleeve ‘cuz it looks cool.
–Sal Lucci (Numero Group)