by Michael Edwards | originally published at Exclaim!
Considering the four members of Showroom are currently still finishing off their degrees at the University of Toronto, their first release, an EP entitled Still Escalator, is a surprisingly accomplished debut. It does bear some of the trademarks of being a debut, but imagine just what they would be capable of if they were at it full time. They’ve managed to capture that upbeat jangly guitar sound that was so very popular in the UK in the midst of the C86 era, resulting in something that is reminiscent of the Chesterfields or the Trash Can Sinatras. And then there are the vocals of Ben Hutchinson who has a style that sounds like a cross between James Bradfield (from the Manic Street Preachers) and Morrissey, giving Showroom a pretty, unique sound. Plus it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that the band sometimes covers “This Charming Man” when playing live. For some reason, the vocals and music don’t quite gel but not in an obvious way. There’s something unusual about Still Escalator that is hard to pin down and that prevents it from being a complete success. Maybe by the time that they get around to recording their first full-length album, all the kinks will have been ironed out and everything will become entirely copasetic.