October 2001 • Rockbites Alternative Daily

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The Shebrews quietly release stunner of a mini-LP
9 October 2001
Minneapolis retro-twee duo The Shebrews quietly released their stunning debut mini-album titled Off With Their Hearts in August on Stillwater, Minnesota’s Grimsey Records. If you have any interest in retro ’60s to ’80s pop (American or British) or in perfectly crafted art pop, I can’t say it more plainly: this disc is a must-have treasure.
    The Shebrews are an on-and-off collaboration between multi-instrumentalist John Crozier (Ninotchka, The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group, Seacreature, Ninian Harwick, Hang Ups) and British-born vocalist Stephanie Winter (Les Arbres, The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group, Zipperpuss). Previous releases include a variety of split singles and the occasional compilation appearance. For the songs of OWTH, they enlisted help from drummers Bryan Hanna and Chad Nelson, bassists Matt Gerzema and Jim Ruiz, and keyboards player Peter Sands.
    Despite its billing as a CD-EP, think of this as a mini album. Its eight songs and 21 minutes can take you farther away from the troubles of the world than a hundred lesser full length LPs. Each track is individually breathtaking and could be a single in its own right. In sequence the songs are crushingly heart rending and beautiful.
    Five tracks on the disc are written or co-written by Crozier and Winter, and reveal the pair to be a formidable songwriting team. The three covers blend in seamlessly and to excellent effect: Leave All Your Old Loves by Pamla Birch of ’60s Liverpool act The Liverbirds, Motorbike Girl by Jessica Griffin of ’80s band The Would-Be-Goods (aka Griffin backed by The Monochrome Set), and This Strange Effect, a major hit for ’60s British pop balladeer Dave Berry written by The Kinks’ Ray Davies.
    Music from the magical partnership known as The Shebrews is precious. Get all you can. Five bites out of five.

Rockbites ratings  5: life changing, 4: stunning, 3: captivating, 2: amusing, 1: annoying.

| The Shebrews on Grimsey | | CD from Amazon US | | top of page |


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