Urbana's The The Beauty Shop specialise in a morosely glimmering alt-country that's charm defies John Hoeffleur's rugged baritone voice. Comparisons to the likes of the Crash Test Dummies thus tend to abate to a finer analysis of their subtle effect.
Two albums into a career that moves like a haunting pilgrimage, their music can aptly be termed modern outlaw country, Hoeffleur's type of outlaw being a distilled mix of Willie Nelson's wide-eyed romanticism and Kurt Cobain's fatalist depression.
The third single to be taken from a compilation LP put together from their first two albums, Monster is a downright nugget from America's Midwest, twanging away with all that's alluring about its musical heritage, while also being the aching voice of the palpably present.
Hoeffleur's guitar over Ben Ucherek's exquisite drum rhythms creates a shimmering effect, which his languorous/laid back vocals join in a paradox of musical exultance. This is alt country at its evocatively finest, bridging gaps between the genre's legendary past and burgeoning present, the band nailing their pared down sound to an elegant tee.
With a series of UK dates coming up at the end April and beginning of May, The The Beauty Shop continue to unite country and rock admirers in rare style.