24 June 2022
“She looks good on paper, she dots all the I’s, you can’t decipher the truth from a lie/She makes an impression, she’s hard to forget, she has all the answers, she’s always correct, don’t fool yourself, she’s a flight risk.” That’s the Shoebox Letters sounding the alarm about a too-good-to-be-true temptress on the title track that opens their latest EP, Flight Risk.
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, this four-piece includes Dennis Winslow (acoustic/electric guitars, keys and vocals) Dave Strickler (bass), Stephanie Cox (vocals) and Greg Paul (backing vocals, steel guitar and bass). The aforementioned opener cuts a wide swath, the melody and arrangement echo ‘70s Power Pop antecedents like The Raspberries and Badfinger, while a wash of steel guitar adds a bit of high lonesome ache. The six-song set is uniformly excellent, front to back, but stand-outs include the raucous “I Drink To Much” which is powered by angular guitars, wily bass lines and a hi-hat kick. Introspective lyrics reference Phil and Don Everly and kinda contemplate sobriety.
Then there’s the low-key charm of “Bed Of Roses.” “Red Handed In Love” Slashing power chords strafe across a rock steady rhythm. The lyrics offer up a tender encomium to a long-term romance. The record closes with “A World Out There.” Something of a restless farewell, it features sparkly guitars and burnished keys. It’s a moodily elegant finish to the EP.
On Flight Risk, Shoebox Letters serve up a deft combo-platter of infectious Power Pop and good ol’ Country Comfort.
Eleni P. Austin - I was born into a large, loud Greek family and spent my formative years in the Los Angeles enclaves of Laurel Canyon and Los Feliz. My mother moved us to the Palm Springs area just in time for puberty and Disco. I have spent over 40 years working in record stores, starting back in High School.
I wrote music reviews for the Desert Sun from 1983 to 1988. I began doing the same for the Coachella Valley Weekly in 2012.
I live in Palm Springs with my wife and our amazing dog, Denver.