Beginning with a fiery version of Duke Ellington's "Virgin Jungle," whose tone is set by vocalist Heloise Williams' powerful entrance, Shed -- Viperhouse's second studio release -- continues the mission set forth by saxophonist Michael Chorney to make intellectually challenging dance music in the spirit of the great big bands of time gone by. Though they would later improve, the band is -- for the most part -- more successful at interpreting the songs of others on this release, such as the aforementioned Ellington chart, a funky reading of Neil Young's "For the Turnstiles," and a nice arranagement of Charles Mingus' "Pithycanthropus Erectus." There are moments of brightness in the band's original compositions, such as Chorney's "In a Buffalo Bar." Mostly, though, the band relies on its charmistimatic musical voices to carry the day. Though the tone gets a little stiff, the music retains its charm throughout.
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AllMusic Review by Jesse Jarnow