SHOEBOX MONEY came to our attention lately when they in-boxed us to ask for a review. Admittedly, we hadn’t heard of them until then. Thanks to the power of a press release and finding their song online we know a bit more about this band…

Distortions […] wrapped in the turmoil until it reaches a breaking point…
Coming out of Lawrence, KS, Shoebox Money is an alternative rock band formed in November 2018. After their single “Westport” debuted [shared below] it received local airplay and accolades. Since we hadn’t heard from them until now only speaks to the depth of the pothole in which we live, which is covered by a beautiful amethyst geode. Anyway, their song, a rock ballad of sorts, tries to capture the emotions associated with reconciling feelings of unrequited love while carrying on a young adulthood life. All of this seems to take place in Westport, a Kansas City district popular for its nightlife and entertainment.

This, however, is a backdrop rather than anything of real significance to the song. The song immerses the listener in the mingling between the clear, upbeat tones that clash with the throaty and raspy voice that sings about the love lost. While a trademark of rock music, the vocal style adds another level, as if you can hear the singer choke-up about the loss; intertwined with distortions and a sense of an impending downward spiral during the interlude. One feels like they are suddenly wrapped in the turmoil until it reaches a breaking point. This breaking point comes out as a gritty guitar solo and hard, aggressive drumming before leading the listener back into the interplay that started the song. One could call this a resolution of sorts, but it leads back into the same chorus full of angst and heartbreak.

Musically, this has lots of emotion, but the lack of cohesion perhaps mars the sense of the band’s full expression. It seems too focused on the chaos at times rather than leading the listener into how a young adult fully unpacks the break up. Some of this could have been worked out lyrically, though it seems the focus was on emotions. Even then lyrics aren’t prolific, but neither is a break up, and the power of this song is in its musicality rather than its lyrics.

It won’t give the listener a full taste of Kansas City other than local alternative rock style, but Shoebox Money offers up the style in a way that’s easy to digest. It’s an accurate way of portraying youthful feelings of pain and is a nice song to get out the angst and upset that everyone undergoes during a break up.

Words: Shi


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