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Beauty Shop - Crisis Helpline

  by Jon Rogers

published: 15 / 8 / 2004

Beauty Shop - Crisis Helpline
Label: Shoeshine
Format: CD


Worthy-of-attention second album from Illinois Americana trio, the Beauty Shop, which underneath the pleasant enough melodies of its surface, displays a black, noirish heart

On the surface it may seem that Illinois' trio The Beauty Shop are rather superficial. Pleasant enough melodies that hang in the air a little moodily, the songs detailing frozen moments of home-spun Americana; little snippets of middle America, dressed up in some fancy country-ish clothes. Effectively it could be really easy to overlook the black, noirish heart at the centre. Underneath the seemingly normal, respectable shell there is the existential worry and despair of John Hoeffleur's mind. And it is a subdued, wary despondency. Not the wailing, tortured grief of many a grunge band. 'Crisis Helpline', the band's second album, is more a muted, surpressed effort, but the effect can have just as much impact. 'Crisis Helpline' comes from much the same vein as their debut 'Yr Money Or Yr Life' and mines the same terrain. The album though suffers the longer it goes on. 'Paper Hearts for Josie' and the single 'Monster' get 'Crisis Helpline' off to a fine start beautifully capturing Hoeffleur's take on American life. 'Babyshaker' is more experimental and almost surreal and just about holds it together. By the end though, 'A Desperate Cry for Help' and 'Closer' just end up going round in circles re-treading previously well worn ground. What holds it together, ultimately, though is Hoeffleur's warm and well-worn baritone voice, no doubt refined by having a gorgeous whiskey-soaked coating. Worthy of attention but unlikely to set the world alight.

Track Listing:-
1 Paper Hearts For Josie
2 Monster
3 Nightcrawlers
4 Babyshaker
5 The Love I Could Not Save
6 Hatchet Job
7 Rumplestiltskin Lives
8 Somewhere
9 A Desperate Cry For Help
10 Closer
11 Breaking The Law
12 Gouge Away

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Interview (2004)
Beauty Shop - Interview
Illinois trio the Beauty Shop play all acoustic country flavoured punk/rock and roll. Strolling around Exeter on a recent British tour, frontman and songwriter John Hoeffleur speaks to Ben Howarth about the band's new album, 'Crisis Helpline'


Yard Sale (2006)
Slightly pointless compilation from talented American band the Beauty Shop, which consists of songs from each of their two albums to date 'Yr Money or Yr Life' and 'Crisis Helpline'

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