A Shoreline Dream - Waitout

by Steve Rhodes Rating:8 Release Date:2018-07-06
A Shoreline Dream - Waitout
A Shoreline Dream - Waitout

With the end of the first wave of Shoegaze in the mid-90s, a number of bands over the next decade, a significant number of which from America without the fickle press on their backs, took up the guitar-weaving mantle in delivering alternative variations on the genre, mostly falling under the umbrella of Dream-Pop. Denver natives A Shoreline Dream have been expert exponents of this since their beginnings in the mid 2000s. The band came to my attention more than a decade ago with the gloriously emotive 'Love Is A Ghost In America' and they have raised their profile with their successful collaborations with Ullrich Schnauss.

Four full-length albums and numerous singles and EPs later, all on Latenight Weeknight Records, with Waitout they've produced another EP that continues to mine their soundscaping territory, building effectively on their impressive back catalogue.

Title track opener 'Waitout' continues very much in the Shoegaze territory, as Ryan Pollicky's treated, hymnal-choir vocal delivery, like Sarah Records with a huge production budget, is backed by melancholic bass changes, arpeggiod and moody guitars and light drumming. An excellent demonstration of A Shoreline Dream's sound, which nods to Air Formation, Blind Mr Jones and Ride's Going Blank Again with Robin Guthrie at the production helm, but also with edges of Post-Punk, a' la The Cure. There are nice washes of guitar noise towards the end, along with forthright bass rushes, used a bit like Mani in The Stone Roses' Fools Gold, in their effective intermittence.

'In The Ready Sound' is more upbeat from the off, with a lighter, less-dense tone. Guitars twang rather than moan, as Ryan's vocals remain echoed. The chorus takes a darker turn, feeling a little subdued, but still possesses plenty of chinks of light, as the bass wanders throughout the track, taking a more central role than usual.

Named after their Denver neighbourhood 'Barnum' is a beautiful instrumental number. Slower in pace, the guitars ache and chime, often at a lower intonation at times, feeling almost alt-country in places. A great counter to the higher-end echoed guitars. Drums appear and dreamy guitar hooks, that resonate with the sunset before dusk, make an entrance. A bass change takes the song to a darker place but retains the beauty and head-nodding mantric resonance of the track.

There's more of an urgency to 'New York', taking a dubbier direction at the start, as the percussion becomes more relentless and the guitar hooks take a surgency in the verses. Ryan's vocals bleed from every channel during the etheriel chorus, as the sound envelops the room with ease.

EP closer 'Projections' is another strong track, shimmering from the off, like Secret Shine and Engineers, Ryan's vocals feel more subtle in the mix. The track benefits from a quick change in tempo and settles into a pattern of haunting ascending repetitive chords, as the guitars seem more treated almost like a Wurlitzer of fairground organ at times. The mood takes a darker turn, with the drumming becoming more tempered and frenetic in synch with it.

Waitout is another strong and successful release from the ever-prolific A Shoreline Dream. An effortlessly hazy and mesmerising release that delicately tempers the senses, leaving the listener in a state of aural bliss.

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