Chris Storrow - The Ocean's Door - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Chris Storrow - The Ocean's Door

by Jim Harris Rating:3 Release Date:2016-02-08

If you’ve grown weary of sub-particle offshoots of the music industry constantly in a state of nostalgia for some past genre or the other, than this pastiche of 60s AM rock could easily be passed on. Chris Storrow comes with a pedigree of always working with Canada’s finest, Kurt Dahle of The New Pornographers on drums, Evan Cranley from Stars, along with members of The Besnard Lakes, to name a few. Every time I hear a song on this album you think "What great musicianship", and that’s about it.

It’s clear Chris is desperately in need of a genre that his eclectic vocals and polished, but derivative song structures fit in to. But song after song, smooth controlled guitar jangles, keyboard tempos, and carefully coiffed beats, all within the confines of a three-minute ditty, just lack something.  And the music is perfectly executed and therein lies the problem.  Hiring a team of BMW engineers to rebuild a ’64 Corvette and then driving it through the town parade just doesn’t seem to be a lofty premise for your music.

And then there’s the less than evocative beach hotel cover overlooking the ocean.  Wow, how clever to set the framework of 60s surfer music.

Chris Storrow wants to…evoke 60s AM surfer rock.  Go for it, Chris.  The lyrics are as innocent as plotlines in an Archie comic. (In fact, the most breathtakingly bad song involves a Veronica refrain that makes Elvis Costello’s Veronica sound downright listenable, and I hate Elvis Costello.  Chris, do you really know a single person on this planet who is still capable of sexual activity named Veronica?)

It appears that The Ocean’s Door  isn’t so much an artist in love with 60s AM Radio Rock, but more an artist attempting to grab a commercial success by hauling in the heavy machinery to crank out a hit in a susceptible genre.  I’m sure he’ll evoke Pet Sounds and Dave Clark and call Brian Wilson the 60s Mozart, but how about trying shoegaze, next time?

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