You are not going to find an album that is more fun than The Shams Band's Cold City.
The Chicago-based band's third album flits between traditional country, alt-rock, and pop. The one consistent element in these songs are the riptide-strong melodies and lighthearted sensibilities that permeate even sob story songs like "Cold City" and "I'm Not Sorry."
To me, Cold City has a '90s-rock sensibility, and if you've read this blog for any amount of time, you should know by now that I eat that kind of thing up. Maybe it's nostalgia for my childhood, maybe I'm just sick of bands that are overburdened with post-9/11 irony and nihilism (because God knows I've got too much of that myself.) Either way, The Shams Band deserves to be listed with The Basics, just for consciously striving to break free of the mold.
The Shams Band are charging, like, actual money for their album but it is worth the investment. They're definitely starting with a solid musical foundation. I'm looking forward to see how they'll grow in the future.
The Shams Band -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp