Review: A Shoreline Dream – ‘Whirlwind’ + Other Songs So Far

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I grew up in Clevland, Ohio at the height of the Nine Inch Nails and Marylin Manson craze. They were from my hometown and doing something that spoke to me on a deep level. As a kid, I really felt that Trent Reznor got me and felt my pain. From there I was hooked on Gothic post-punk and industrial. I eventually found my way backwards to The Cure and it changed my life in only the way great music speaks to a pre-teen. I doubt I will ever feel that way again.

Which brings us to A Shoreline Dream, a alternative progressive shoe gaze duo form Colorado. Their new album is being released by their own label (Latenight Weekend Records) one song at a time, much like the serialized singles of bands like The Smiths or a Charles Dickens novel. I had the pleasure of hearing four tracks that have been released so far. As soon as I put the headphones on and pressed play, I was 13 again, in my room, discovering an amazing post-punk band.

My playlist started with “Revolvist,” which begins with guitar drones on the left and right, obscuring an otherwise catchy and driven song with the vocals hiding in the mix. Much is the same for the next song, “The Heart Never Recovered.” All of the singles I heard are very well produced but intentionally mixed in the vein of artists like My Bloody Valentine, with buried vocals and overpowering droning lead guitars. It’s clearly a style choice and a genre staple, but be warned it can lead to a challenging first listening experience.

After getting used to the mixes and letting go with my head, the music washed over me to create melancholy darkwave soundscapes similar to the dream pop of bands like Dead Can Dance and The Cure. A Shoreline Dream has mastered the use of rhythmic production under their songs. There’s always a tambourine or a simple beat to keep the songs driving under their soaring choruses and synths.

“Time is a Machine Gun” is a stand out track. It builds beautifully from a sample of a space launch paired with a bass and drum line into haunting, ethereal vocals which are layered and panned to surround and encompass the listener.

A Shoreline Dream’s newest single is “Whirlwind,” a song that starts off with an abrasive bass and drum riff reminding me of classics like The The and vocals reminiscent of one of my favorite post-punk bands, Prick. The song does a great job of naturally building until it is ripped from you into a sea of guitar squelches, feedback and delayed sirens, all dying down into ambient room noise before one final cut.

A Shoreline Dream has had much success over their decade long career, and with this newest crop of songs, it is easy to see why. Fans of Love and Rockets, Bauhaus and The Damned will love the experimental Gothic shoegaze of A Shoreline Dream. (Lance Waste)

7/10

For Fans Of: Bauhaus, Nine Inch Nails, Love and Rockets

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