Shoot The Image – Cranes In the City – The Singles
Release Date – April 2011
by Jade Sperry
Shoot The Image are a brand spanking new band out of Toronto, ON. Their two song preview for the CD Cranes In The City shows a ton of promise. And their background is just as promising as well as intriguing. The band has 2 lead singers/keyboardists/guitar players. As to the identity of the band members, no one knows…yet.
Their story begins on MySpace where they met Boz Boorer (British guitarist and producer who founded The Polecats and is a co-writer, guitarist and musical director with Morrissey). After sending him various recommendations for bands and films, they ended up talking back and forth for a year. The band booked a show at the 12 Bar Club in London, UK, and invited him come. To the band’s surprise, he showed up. After a few pints they hit it off and he invited them to record in his studio in Portugal (Serra Vista Studio). Boorer has worked with the likes of Adam Ant, Jools Holland and Shillelagh Sisters. He recorded the Portugal garage/blues/rock band The Murdering Tripping Blues in this studio over the summer in 2010.
Details of the name of the female singer (or any band member) is scarce. All I know is that she is an Urban Planner by day. She has never played in any band to date. After a drunken night out in 2009, she spontaneously broke out into Nina Simone’s song “My Baby Just Cares For Me” at an afterparty which is what started Shoot The Image. They immediately bought an Mbox, learned how to use Pro-Tools and began to record for six months – ten hours a day, 5 days a week – in preparation for Serra Vista Studios.
All members in Shoot The Image agree that Serra Vista Studios is by far the most amazing studio experience they have ever had together or individually. It’s more of a villa and recording complex deep in the mountains of Portugal. Boz’s wife, Lyn, also helps to run the studio. There is no cell phone or internet service and they recorded basically fifteen hours a day for three weeks. Boz totally understood how to get the best out of them and the band says “it was amazing to work with a producer of his caliber”.
As their bio states:
“The days were long but laid back and fun. We laughed….a lot, ate amazing food, drank an enormous amount of wine and beer, and only had the TV on once to watch “Flight of the Concords” on DVD on our last night there.” Sounds more like bliss to this writer.
Boz and Lyn have created the studio as a vacation spot (and its literally a paradise) and as a space for Independent or new artists/bands to record at. And the best thing is that they don’t have to do any of this! Their mutual love of music and excitement for new songs lead them to do this. They give new and emerging musicians an opportunity that otherwise would be totally impossible.
In the video department of this band, they have a working production house with all the gear and have confirmed several directors to record a video for every song on Cranes In The City. One of those directors is from Vancouver – Olaf Blomerus, who will be shooting the video to the song “Lithograph”. Olaf has worked with Crimes of Paris who are also a Toronto based band. This is a big undertaking but is unique in its vision. I am intrigued to see how the music is interpreted to a visual form.
Getting onto the music side of things, the two tracks are very upbeat, funky and are overall brilliant songs. They are original through and through. “Fortified” has a steady funky beat with the rhythm section. The guitars come into the bridge and chorus and leave the rhythm section to deal with the versus. The melody is seamless and flows very well under all the layers of the others. And the keys are used subtly in the middle layers of the song. The bands’ 2 singers take on the song and the rhetoric is between the thoughts of a woman who is perhaps unhappy in a current relationship and muses about having affairs with other men, the male singer, who sings “i’m just what you’re needing/ I am the wicked son of an honest man”. That’s powerful imagery which comes to mind in just two lines of the full song! Emotions are not easy to get across to a listener. The second song “Lithograph” has a very catchy beginning with the keyboards which mixes rather well with the rhythmic beating of the drum, the smooth but funky bass line and the vocals. All these sounds weave almost a magical quality to this song that makes you want to get up and dance. Although slightly forlorn in the way the vocals sing, it has a line that says “don’t shoot me/don’t shoot me/don’t shoot me/down”, which can be taken in many ways, emotionally or otherwise. When this CD is in the hands of this writer, it will be the second top priority (after working my day job) to listen to the music and ponder its meaning to the listener.
You can find the band at the following links: