Label: Brille Release date: 25/01/10 Website: http://www.goodshoes.co.uk It’s been a good few years since the Morden four piece’s debut album Think Before You Speak and since a mass of touring in 2007 we haven’t heard all that much from them. So with a brand spanking new album imminently hitting the shelves has all that down time been put to good use or have Good Shoes lost their ability to infect our eardrums and keep us coming back for more? No Hope No Future undoubtedly showcases an evolution in the bands style to a somewhat more serious and considered form whilst retaining those upbeat jingly jangly indie rhythms that they were so well recognised for. However what seems to have dissipated through this shift in focus is the sheer impact of some of the tracks. Riffs are still infectious as can be but there’s just a lack of the sort of in your face, attention grabbing passion that tracks such as ‘Never Meant to Hurt Your’ or ‘The Photos On My Wall’ oozed with so effortlessly. It’s not that tracks are sloppy as musically everything is highly technically polished, there’s just nothing that draws you in or makes you care about the lyrics anymore. Front man Rhys Jones has always had a fragile quality to his voice but unfortunately here it can at times come across as weak and uninspired. There’s just nothing here that stands out, no passionately conveyed message, no sense of a disenfranchised youth, just songs for the sake of songs. No Hope No Future could have and should have been so much better than it is but unfortunately appears to have fallen foul to the curse of the difficult second album. You have to give them credit for trying something a bit different but if you’re a fan of their previous releases you can’t help but feel let down and unimpressed at the lack of impact here. Even now as I tunes takes me from last track ‘City By The Sea’ to previous first track of Think Before You Speak ‘Nazanin’ there’s such an obvious difference that makes you ask the question why change what worked so well? Ultimately I wouldn’t find myself so disappointed if this had been the bands first release but knowing what Good Shoes have the ability to achieve this release feels less like a standard indie pop record and more like a failed follow up to one of 2007’s most refreshing breakthrough gems. Rating: 6/10