03 February 2011

Shores - coup de grâce (2010, No Idea)

From Grand Rapids, Michigan,  Shores is a duo formed by Brian Przybylski (guitar, vocals, bass) and John Massel (drums) and their debut album is a pure slowcore jewel with obvious references to some absolute masters of the genre such as Bedhead, Seam, Codeine, Low, Red House Painters, Kepler, C-Clamp or Bluetile Lounge.
"Coup de grâce" is often slow, sometimes more rapid but always dealing with tension, self-restraint and release, using a certain idea of minimalism, spleen & melancholy, a sense warmth and strong personal emotions, while keeping in phase with a definite natural even if sometimes contained dynamism, while never focusing on the subject of melodies.

You would take it one way or the other, one thing is obvious, "Coup de Grâce" is a pure slowcore album, intense and austere, haunting and ,for a good part yes, depressive, but giving the urge and dedication to go through and resist, and that way they share and reach this state of transcendence so emblematic of the genre.
Recorded in 2008, mixed in 2009 and finally mastered and released in 2010, the duo seems to have been through a slow process, and you can feel it very quickly through the depth of their work. I have the feeling that Brian Przybylski spent much more time than usually for him about polishing these song in order to keep only the strict minimum, giving meaning to every nuance.

Like most of the albums of the genre, "Coup de grace" is a slow burner and it takes a certain time to personally adopt and fully enjoy their songs. It is also obvious that they were learning through the process, discovering the power of their songwriting along the conception of this album and it's not surprise that such a process didn't end here as they are already not so far to finish a second album.
Both have played in various, sometimes more noisy and hardcore bands before, but with Shores, they seem to reach another level with this successful and serious adoption of a slowcore brilliancy, ethically and aesthetically. Some might say that this genre seemed to be specific of the nineties, but once that sait it is also obvious that most of the good albums of this genre survive really well through the years and never sound old or outdated.

Considering this first album, Shores for me belongs up to now to the same family of bands as C-Clamp or Kepler, or are really similar to what Bedhead or even Codeine had achieved at the beginning of their careers. They are not strictly clearing new grounds but mostly laying the foundations of their discography as you can only be certain they will probably evolve again, who takes it slow and steady goes a long way.

My favorite tracks among the eight one are, without surprise the slower ones : the opener "Meanwhile", the arresting "One Palm Sunday", the overwhelmingly restrained "Shame on nameless", the both euphoric and depressive "Engage, all", the poignant and emotional "Canned Heat.

I enjoy this album, it's a really god one but I also have the feeling that for Shores, the best is yes to come, a few passages on certain songs are really like semi-open doors the band will probably fully explore on their highly anticipated second full length.

No comments:

Post a Comment