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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
A Shoreline Dream
Avoiding The Consequences
Latenight Weeknight

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 11, 2006
Dreams are explorations of our subconscious, where we experience a surreal collection of visions, voices, and encounters that are often pleasant, sometimes telling, and occasionally terrifying. According to psychologists, individual dream sequences can last nearly forty-five minutes. Is it a coincidence that the length of a dream and the length of an LP are incredibly similar to one another? In their debut album, A Shoreline Dream acknowledges this eerie similarity, as they take us into a very specific dream, one that, ultimately, causes an unsettling fear to manifest itself inside us. Avoiding The Consequences is both a dream and a nightmare, an hour-long journey into our collective mind that is burdened by the corporate pressures and forced anonymity of the modern world. This album could be the soundtrack to a film adaptation of Franz Kafka's The Castle, as it is ethereal, sometimes sinister, and, like Kafka's novel, not quite finished and slightly flawed.

A Shoreline Dream, a four-piece from Denver, is reminiscent of On Fire, The Burning Paris, and Below the Sea, artists who rely on simple, echoing guitars and understated vocals to paint melancholy portraits of the world. There will also be comparisons to VAST and Hammock. Opening with the eerie drones and white noise of "Preludes," Avoiding The Consequences encompasses thirteen tracks that contribute admirably to the shoegazing tradition. There is beauty and fright here, but the effort is uneven. There's no crescendo, no rise and fall, no peak and dénouement. It is an easy album to get lost within, emerging when it's over to not be able to discern the difference between individual songs. This is not crippling, but it leaves a heavy fog over the album. But perhaps this is the point. Highlights include "Love Is A Ghost in America" and "Motherly Advice." The best track, interestingly enough, is but a vignette, a short instrumental titled, "Intermissionary." This one minute and eight seconds of consequence is constructed around the sound of the sea breaking on a sandy shore, accompanied by bursts of acoustic strings and piano that end abruptly, leaving the listener wanting. "Pour" is equally majestic, with strings battling the repeating guitar sounds, feedback, and fuzz for supremacy.

"Truth is never the same," muses lead singer Ryan Policky on "Peel You Open." A post-modern statement, indeed, especially in our modern age where believing can be nearly as hazardous to one's health as disbelief. It's all a matter of perspective, and A Shoreline Dream's is that the modern world has become too fractured. Polick's vocals are heavily distorted and sit far into the background, à la My Bloody Valentine, continuing the trend of post-rock music that argues that vocals can act as instruments. This is a post-rock album conveying a post-modern dream-or is it nightmare?

This is dark, moody, brooding music. It will be best enjoyed on cold, rainy evenings with a bottle of tough red wine to help you drift away. You can get lost inside this album, losing focus in the sporadic beauty but not sacrificing much of significance if your attention is drawn away. Avoiding The Consequences works in intervals, but in its weakest moments is repetitive and uninspiring. The album, like many of the individual songs, feels a bit long, clocking in at over an hour. It's not that this is an excessive length by any means, but it just feels drawn out. Again, this is an album to keep in the background. But it is worth the effort, and A Shoreline Dream has a future worth keeping watch of. By the end of the odyssey that is Avoiding The Consequences, a track titled "The End" finishes where we began, and we're glad to finally awaken from this dream and to step into the sunlight.

Reviewed by Eric J. Morgan
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Eric J. Morgan is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Colorado. He has an orange cat named Nelson and longs for the day when men and women will again dress in three-piece suits and pretty dresses to indulge in three-martini lunches and afternoon affairs.

See other reviews by Eric J. Morgan

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