Monday, January 02, 2006

Saxon Shore

Saxon Shore - The Exquisite Death Of - Burnt Toast Vinyl

The latest offering from Saxon Shore sees them with new members, and a new method of recording this time around. Their last records "Luck Won't Save Us From A Jackpot Of Nothing" was recorded entirely using file sharing. Each member of the band would record their tracks themselves and then exchange them via the internet to compose the album. This time around, the guys hooked up with producer Dave Friddman at Tarbox Road studios to track the album all in one place.

From start to finish, this album can be looked at as a retrospective of life. The emotions conveyed on the album range from happy, excited, and triumphant, to sad, depressed, and angry. This is a very unique quality which I very much enjoy. The first track "The Revolution Will Be Streaming" is a wonderful soaring epic which sets the tone of the album nicely. One of the best features about this album is that although keyboards and electronics are present, they are used tastefully. This allows the acoustic instruments (guitar, drums, bass) to be brought to the forefront and creates a very organic feel atypical of most instrumental acts out there today. Although not as organic as say, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Saxon shore are far more organic than most. The second track let's you know that this group is very good at using textural elements to create mood. "This Shameless Moment" uses a sort of washed-out drum filter effect which creates wonderful texture, while the keyboards float in and out of the mix effortlessly. The bass still retains driving tone and cuts through to help keep the tune moving forward. This tune periodically explodes into epic moments. Steve Roessner begins to showcase his tasty drum fills and effective use of cymbal accents. His sense of groove is felt strongly through the entire album.

Production on this album is flawless, and Friddman does it again creating an awesome mix. I was particularly fond of the sound he got on the new Mercury Rev record, and a simmilar, yet unique sound was brought to the table for Saxon Shore.

There isn't much more to say about this record than the fact that is epic beyond epic-ness. It is instrumental post-rock done the right way. Think if Isis listened to more Mogwai than Neurosis, and you might be on the right track. Throw in ambience, electronics, and a solid instrumental backbone, and the beast is born! Saxon Shore do not disappoint on this release, and we should se bigger and better from them in the future.



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