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Shores

Leavening

(No Idea; US: 7 Aug 2012; UK: 20 Aug 2012)

Leavening, the third album from sad-bastard, slowcore enthusiasts Shores, may be eight tracks spread out over 46 minutes, but it’s best approached as a massive monolith. With elliptical lyrics – only one song’s title appears in any of the lyrics (“Hinges”) – resignedly murmured by frontman Brian Przybylski over a lush bed of glacially paced rock, why not just fall into Leavening and see what your brain magpies out: the guitar squalls of “Broderick”; Sean Sterns’ twangy guitar work on “Weak Trees”; the cymbal crashes of “Windswept” (a track also notable as one of the best instances of the band finding its [slow] groove); a welcome visit from vocalist Britty Drake on the closing “Chagrin”. Differentiating these tracks is like an audio version of “Spot the Differences”. And yes, one man’s slow-paced wander through the world is another’s grueling trudge, but Leavening reveals itself to those willing to explore it on its own terms.

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