Heavy Shores is a post rock/dream pop band based in Fayetteville, Arkansas that recently released Collect the Coasts. The band is a two-piece comprised of Chris Rhodes (guitar/bass,/ocals) and Russel Hensley (keyboards/drums/percussion).
My first thought when listening to Collect the Coasts was they sound similar to Broken Social Scene, Do Make Say Think and Explosions In The Sky. The band isn’t in the same league as any of those bands but certainly show some potential on this album.
For those familiar with the aforementioned bands the influence seems to be a little too obvious at times. For instance the opener “Collect the Coasts” which for as pretty as it is, sounds like it could be off an Explosions In The Sky album. The band has done their homework. They know how to build a song and the instrumental parts are well delivered. The production is above average for DIY but falls a bit short from what you would expect from a polished, professional treated album. For example, the snare sits a little bit too on top of the mix masking some of the gorgeous guitar work.
Up next is “Lawrence” which is arguably the highlight. The first minute or so is great. They really come together in the mix and showcase inventive timing and instrumental parts. Once the vocals come in they are out of key as he strains his voice but redeems himself. Rhodes doesn't seem to be a naturally gifted singer but has some potential. A little better production would help assist with that.
“The One That Hits You” is a better vocal range for Rhodes. He sounds good at this range and his singing is more graceful and eloquent. The instrumentation again is very strong. I was more than impressed with the drumming on this song. This is a great song from top to bottom. “The Tenth Year” has the melancholy you may heard by a band like Low, Red House Painters or even Mogwai.
Heavy Shores is solid but if they really want to be as recognized as some of the bands they have been influenced by they will have to take it to the next level. They will have to veer away from some of the recognizable tones and textures that sound familiar to any fan of post-rock and the like-minded genres. That step is really the hardest for bands but more often then not it comes with dedication, time and inspiration that often doesn’t come from music.
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