The Cold Stares
The Cold Stares backstory
The duo, originally from Western Kentucky, is guitarist-singer Chris Tapp and drummer Brian Mullins.
After meeting in their early 20s, they went their separate ways, only circle back a decade later.
Since their debut album in 2014 (A Cold Wet Night And A Howling Wind) they followed up with three more crirically acclaimed releases.
Head Bent (2017), Mountain (2018) and Ways (2019) reinforced a reputation for emotive heavy blues.
And Heavy Shoes — the band’s first release for Mascot Records — drops this August.
The band’s music has featured on several TV adverts, shows and games, including CyberPunk 2077, ESPN, X-Games, Monster Energy, TNT’s Animal Kingdom, and the Dodge Motor Company.
Early 2020 the band returned to the fabled Sam Phillips Recording Studio in Nashville to record Heavy Shoes.
It was mixed by Mark Needham (The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Fleetwood Mac) and mastered by Andy Vandette (Beastie Boys, Kid Rock, Smashing Pumpkins.
In singer Chris Tapp’s own words:
“Heavy Shoes is a metaphor for something that is weighing you down.
“Could be a relationship, an addiction, or just something you can’t let go of.
“That feeling of every step being heavier than the last and not being able to carry the baggage any further.
“Heavy Shoes was the first song I had written for the album and kind of a template we wanted to use for the rest of the record.
“Heavy, bluesy, straight ahead and honest. We shot the video in an old church from the 1800s.
“The church was abandoned and in the 1980s it was set for destruction when a woman bought it.
“The lady had the church moved about a mile down the road to her property and slowly started to preserve it.
“It’s cool that today it’s structurally sound but they haven’t changed anything from on the interior from the day the church closed its doors.
“Like a lot of places I love, you can feel the memories and people’s experiences in the walls.”
The verdict on Heavy Shoes
It’s impossible to avoid comparisons with London-based Aussie duo The Graveltones as Heavy Shoes’ thumping blues grabs the attention.
And it would be a joy watching The Cold Stares go head to head with Jimmy O and Mikey Sorbello on a festival stage sometime soon.
Heavy Shoes is a weighty tune with plenty to say.
And as the title track for this summer’s new album, it sets the standard for a record that’s already got the critics talking.
Chris Tapp’s bellowing blues rasp screams authenticity and angst.
And Brian Mullins never misses a beat as the glue that binds The Cold Stares together on the band’s latest — and possibly greatest — anthem.
Heavy Shoes is a heavy blues foot tapper Rival Sons would be proud to call their own.
It’s that good.
What’s next for The Cold Stares
The band hits Scandinavia this week on a nine-date tour of Denmark and Sweden.
New album Heavy Shoes is released on August 13 and the band hopes to tour the UK later this year.
Main image by Alex Morgan