Album Review: The Sh-booms: The Blurred Odyssey – Songs of Rock and Soul

Ah, the Sh-Booms. A soulful six-piece plucked straight out of a different era.

Let’s skip a few generations. The band formed in 2011 as a team of five, somewhat scruffy – yet massively talented artists. Fast forward five years, and the Orlando group began to inject soul into their unvarnished garage style – to great effect.

And then they seized another golden opportunity. When Tennman Records and Brenda Radney parted ways, The Sh-Booms pounced – inheriting a powerful lead singer during the process. This year sees them reach an even higher goal: the release of their first studio album.

“Amidst Chaos” initiates the sequence. Here, the band blends everyday sounds – namely car horns – with musical tropes, like tight riffs and smashing drums. The end result? A brash yet neat form of chaos. Think the theme tune for The Grand Tour, only on steroids…and perhaps with the influence of Jack Daniels.

By “Detox to Retox”, listeners will most likely be buzzing. Lead singer Radney’s vocals may be enough to engage anyone. Boy, do The Sh-booms pack a punch. Follow-up “Leon The Hustler” is just as smooth as its title suggests.

Yet its eponymous protagonist becomes a distant character in “Audible”. A definite contender for powerhouse track of the album, it’s practically flawless. This largely down to Radney’s impeccable voice.

“Late Night Lover” only testifies the vocal prowess of the lead singer. It also oozes sex appeal, too – especially when the Rolling-Stones guitar playing enters. If only it could be longer.

“Dry Eyes” – surprisingly – introduces a brief moment of trumpets within the album. Its successor “Walk It Off”, however, returns listeners to the overall tone of the sequence. “King & Queen” and “Drop ‘em Dead” are much the same.

“The Final Sleep”, in contrast, winds the sequence down to a leisurely, calm musical pace. This transition enables a fitting end for what feels like a wild day out (auditorily speaking).

The Blurred Odyssey is an immersive journey into classic American soul – one that balances vigorous energy with majestic dignity.

Hints of authentic Rock and Roll guitar hooks in the first few tracks may leave listeners longing for more during the second half of the album. Aside from that, it demonstrates raw talent.

Ben Kempton

 

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