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A Rail Reminder: Don’t Forget Shelby

Songs/8 by Shelby was released in July of 2001. Bandleader Kenny Cummings has fused his songwriting influences from many of the great ’70s power pop/proto-punk bands like Shoes, Big Star, Johnathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, Cheap Trick, Badfinger and early Todd Rundgren, and meshed them with an all-out, relentlessly pure sonic guitar and bass-driven assault. Think Sebadoh in mid-career (Bakesale, Bubbly & Scrape)without all of Lou Barlow’s whiney consternation and “psychosexual hassles”’ or the guitar virtuosity of Dean Wareham paired with Naomi Yang’s bass during the heady days of Galaxy 500. Cummings’s lyrics are warm and intelligently written. His guitar playing and singing deliver on every track. Phil Schuster’s bass playing has been favorably compared to distely. Fans of Stigmata a Go-Go should be familiar with the skill he applies to his bass, because of Schuster’s four-year stretch playing with them. Chad Wilson’s drumming is tight and his occasional vocals provide a good contrast to Cummings’ singing. Songs/8 is a lot like the sleek ’60s muscle car the band must have been named after: solidly made, proficient and with a V8 beneath the hood – in short, built for speed. Go to


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