Denver shoegazers A Shoreline Dream are back with an EP for us this year. And for this latest EP, the band has grown back into a trio. Guitarist Erik Jeffries and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Policky are joined once again by founding member and original drummer Gabriel Ratcliff. I think this addition helps to flesh out the sound a little more.
The EP kicks off with title track Waitout, a wonderful late 1980s shoegaze tune. The guitars are dense and sparkling in dozens of layers, while the voices are echoed and sung earnestly and the rhythm keeps things all tied together. This reminds me of The Chameleons, or maybe Adorable, although A Shoreline Dream move at a far more lethargic pace than Adorable ever did. This is a wonderful shoegaze song.
The second track, The Ready Sound starts with a guitar line that tinkles like something from Landing! I had to look through their BandCamp page to make sure that Aaron Snow wasn't guesting on this track. I consider the two bands to be contemporaries, although it does look like Landing was in existence for 5 years before A Shoreline Dream started releasing music. Huh. Maybe they are influenced by Landing after all! Anyway, the guitar sounds like Aaron Snow but Policky's voice is more forceful than anything that Landing have done. I like the voice with the guitar and the loping beat.
The middle track on the EP is a sparkling shoegaze instrumental named after the suburb of Denver that the band are from, Barnum. This is really pretty, with keys and guitars in shimmering layers and a nice steady drum beat. Ratcliff really shines here.
For the last two songs, A Shoreline Dream remind me more of early Verve. First we have New York, where Ratcliff keeps a nice chugging beat and keyboards ring in hollow tones under guitar. Policky really channels Ashcroft, his voice subdued in the mix as the song grows to a loud climax.
They slow it down for Projections, which sounds like a mix of Ova Looven and Verve. Policky's voice is heavily echoed and the guitars chime in new wavish layers. I really like this one.
But really any new music from A Shoreline Dream is a good thing. I am glad that these guys are up there, in Denver, still fighting the good fight and making cool music.