Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Marine Dreams - Marine Dreams

Marine Dreams

Marine Dreams
You’ve Changed Records.

SCQ Rating: 79%

If ever there was an overt positive to Years (By One Thousand Fingertips) standing as Attack In Black’s final release, it’s that the album’s muddy merger of songwriting talents became a launching pad for some of Canada’s best independent songwriters. Spencer Burton went on to draft the atmospheric folk of Grey Kingdom while Daniel Romano – through his You’ve Changed label – has been responsible for approximately 20% of all good 2011 releases. Yet another encouraging footnote now rises up from Attack In Black’s bittersweet status in the form of Marine Dreams, a record that explains Ian Kehoe’s silence these past years while offering these four lads the opportunity to join forces again.

Indeed, each of Attack In Black’s members contribute to the distortion-laced choral of Marine Dreams but there’s little doubt that Kehoe’s steering the ship. His somewhat nasally command on the vocals gives listeners little time to bask in the past (ed. note: I hadn’t heard Kehoe’s voice since 2009) when present rockers like ‘Fold the Sky’ and ‘Season In Hell’ capture such an excitingly raw nerve. Electric guitars bare a primeval discord that nonetheless compliments Marine Dreams’ melodic heart, allowing the slacker beat of ‘New Decade’ and sneaking bass of ‘I Can Laugh’ to crest on smartly wielded feedback. Above all else, Kehoe’s live-off-the-floor sound thrives on clear production, which allows the dynamics of these songs to really stand strong.

The latest fruit from Attack In Black’s hiatus, Marine Dreams is a disciplined showing of force. Brash yet economic, almost every track explores melody and a looming grisliness to its fullest within a four-minute window. The lone exception, ‘Marine Dreams’, fittingly closes the disc in cymbal-crashing glory that feels epic, despite being maybe a minute longer than its neighbours. Ian – it’s good to have you back.

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