A Shoreline Dream – Coastal EP

Written by  //  January 10, 2008  //  On the Record, The Conservatory  //  1 Comment

ddncdrevashorelinedream01.jpgThree tracks into the Coastal EP, A Shoreline Dream let loose “New York,” a perfect rendition of early ’90s British shoegazer. Subtle synth washes? Check. Churning guitar squalls? Got it. Ethereally reverbed chorus vocals? Yup. Hard charging beat à la Ride? Oh yeah. Formulaic as the checklist may be, it’s one that still delivers when done properly, and this Denver band grasps the concept in its entirety. It’s as exquisite a song as you’ll find this side of Chapterhouse’s first releases–aerial, escalating, and hungry. Honestly, this one track, a blow-out the windows trip, should be enough to put the band on a lot of listeners’ radars.

“Aftershocking,” the fourth and final song on Coastal, is a nice response to “New York.” Equally entrenched in shoegazer conventions, it displays a more tranquil take on the aesthetic. Less bluster doesn’t mean lower caliber, of course, and the band does a marvelous job of slowly and insistently ratcheting up the tension with unobtrusive drum machine beats and guitars processed through a wall of filters. These two songs represent two sides of the same coin and serve as A Shoreline Dream’s mission statement. The opening song, “Ukraine,” situates itself in the sonic space between these two tracks; it’s more uptempo than “Aftershocking” but deviates from the revisited sounds of “New York.”

Worth mentioning is the superb packaging job on this release, whose photography and design are a sharp, crisp complement to the band’s music. It’s rare to find such smart presentation from most established bands on larger labels, let alone from a group earning their reputation. My only quibble with Coastal is “The Barrier,” which fills the second slot and is about as straightforward a throwaway filler track as they come. Found sound samples play over a bog of distorted guitar and other instruments passing as atmospherics; it doesn’t work and leaves the EP much weaker than a shorter running time would have. Fortunately for A Shoreline Dream, the potency of the three ‘real’ songs here is more than enough to overshadow this mistake and acts as a taste of great music yet to come.

A Shoreline Dream’s Coastal EP is currently available on Latenight Weeknight Records. Visit the band’s site to stream tracks from the release.

About the Author

Professor Honeydew is an esteemed Ph.D. (Dr. of Listology), espouser of unpopular culture, cognac enthusiast, and the founder/curator of the acclaimed One Track Mind.

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One Comment on "A Shoreline Dream – Coastal EP"

  1. Lady Z January 10, 2008 at 9:50 am · Reply

    Wow, I really want to listen to this now… you just made me miss Denver.

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