The ShoreSelf Titled
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The Shore's self-titled album has been promoted as a California take on British pop-rock, and a number of big names have been dropped in the wake of the band's marketing blitz. Names like The Beatles, Oasis, The Verve and The Byrds. With such a lofty set of names to compare themselves to, The Shore had to make their first full-length album stand out to keep them from washing away like all other bands trying to hang their name on another act's success.

Musically, The Shore does manage to capture the more British sense of songwriting. Their songs are filled with emotion without being overblown and melodramatic. Ben Ashley's vocals are raw, grainy and filled with a more laid-back passion that compliment the music well. Songs are arranged with a strong sense of multiple layers and various influences. There isn't just a straightforward bass/guitar/drums effort here. String arrangements, piano and all varieties of additional musical elements work in tandem to flesh out this offering.

The album opens with Hard Road - a soft, moody tune that plays with a blues rhythm that rolls along, accented well by the background string arrangement. Firefly follows with a strong burst of passion as the drums and guitars pound at you, shifting to a more dreamlike state from time to time to keep the song from flying too far off target. Take What's Mine is a soft piece that opens with piano and builds to a casual beat. The string arrangements towards the end carry the song out and into the face of Everything We Are, a far more upbeat and stripped down rock song.

Waiting For The Sun is probably one of the more charming tracks on the album. It's laid-back without being pretentious and rolls along without much need for pressure. Opening with a choral-like set of voices, It Ain't Right can't help but feel like a Beatles track. Hold On follows with a more country-like experience, proving that the band does have more than a singular influence to their work. I'll Be Your Man has a certain charm to it's opening, leading to a song that's fun without trying too hard at it. Coming Down ends the album on a lengthy but well delivered note. It roars when it needs to, but always keeps its temper before going too far out of the band's style.

So, is The Shore worthy the marketing title placed upon them? I'd have to say that if anyone deserves it in this day and age, The Shore has managed to make the best case for themselves. Their music has more than enough depth to carry itself and the presentation is casual enough to keep fans of the genre more than interested.

- - Vane

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