By: Jessica Grose
There is a seasoned depth to Shelby’s latest release that makes it obvious that these musicians have been around the block a few times. From the various musical influences the band wields with ease — garage, synth rock, prog; you name it, they blend it — to the obscurity and age of the pop culture references they make (“Paging Loudon Wainwright,” is the chorus to “Loudon Wainwright,” a semi-homage to ’60s folk singer Loudon Wainwright III), Shelby possesses a kind of gravitas unknown to the usual wet-behind-the-ears acts that get hyped into oblivion before even releasing an LP.
On their second album, The Luxury of Time, synthesizer aficionado and lead singer Kenny Cummings indulges a range of styles, at times producing shades of Alice in Chains vocalist Layne Staley (“Marigolds”) and at other points sounding more reminiscent of Guided by Voices’ Robert Pollard or My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields. Most of the songs off The Luxury of Time are spacey, lush pop songs that sometimes dip into melancholy. The song “Jet Blast (Shame)” is particularly affecting, with its slow strumming and Cummings’ voice echoing plaintively.
The record’s depth only hints at Cummings maturity: He has also worked with Blonde Redhead and programmed synthesizers for the likes of Elvis Costello, and Shelby has been haunting venues around their native New York since forming in 2000. Shelby is playing a couple of northeastern dates to support the August 9 release of The Luxury of Time on Gigantic.
Shelby tour dates:
8/14, New York, NY (Scenic)8/16, New York, NY (Passerby)9/15, Baltimore, MD (Ottobar)9/16, Philadelphia, PA (Northstar Bar)
Links:Shelby official site