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Avoiding the Consequences

A Shoreline Dream

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Album Review

A rock & roll album this consistent in sonic concept is something of a rarity, at least outside of hardcore punk circles. A Shoreline Dream's debut album could be taken as a one-hour seminar on singer Ryan Policky's theory that "production is the most important part of any band's sound." Break down the musical content, and there isn't always very much there: layers and layers of shimmery guitars make up the body of the band's sound, with drums that sound sort of tacked-on as an afterthought, and echo and texture sometimes substituting for harmonic substance. But those layers and textures are wielded so expertly that you never really get bored, and the band makes the very wise choice of treating vocals in an almost abstract manner, as just one more layer in the overall sonic mix rather than as a centerpiece. The result is an album whose effect will be almost exactly the same whether you play it straight through or on shuffle: tracks like "Laying This One Down Now" and "Motherly Advice" are built out of such similar aural ingredients that they produce almost identical effects despite their substantial difference in tempo, and the rich sameyness of most tracks means that when one does stand out (like the stunningly beautiful "Zoning"), the effect is almost cathartic. Think My Bloody Valentine as remixed by Brian Eno, but different. Very, very nice.

Biography

Formed: Denver, CO

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The third in an ongoing line of similarly themed but not musically identical projects from the core duo of Ryan Policky and Gabriel Ratliff, A Shoreline Dream combines the epic sonic attack of post-rock outfits like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Sigur Rós with the more pop-oriented and danceable feel of the classic shoegazer bands of the turn of the 1990s. The first band to feature the Denver-based Policky (vocals, guitars, and synthesizers) and Ratliff (drums) was the Radiohead-like art rock outfit...
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Avoiding the Consequences, A Shoreline Dream
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