Shores - Leavening (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Leavening (2012)

No Idea Records

I'm gonna have to call shenanigans on Michigan post-rock/slowcore act Shores. They might have labeled Leavening an extended player on the packaging, but eight songs totaling 46 minutes ain't an EP. That's a full-length, even without metal rules. It was good enough for Born to Run; it's good enough for Shores. At least the cover accurately captures the record's almost shoegazey tone: Light obscures a view of the world through a dirty windshield.

Right, so the music. Leavening is slow ‘n' sleepy, and most assuredly post-rock, by which I mean it recalls the quieter moments on Mogwai's Come On Die Young. Contemplative guitar parts and a dash of fuzz swirl around in a sad stew. There are vocals (eventually), but they feel like just another instrument contributing to the haze.

Truth is, Leavening has a very particular set of requirements for the listener. Do not play this record while driving. You will pass out and smash stuff. Do not play this record at a party. Everyone will get sad. Maybe play this when you're trying to get make-outs on a snowy night, but I'm not sure it'll go anywhere. Leavening is a sleepy little rocker, one that doesn't distinguish itself too much from others like it, although it is a bit of a surprise coming from No Idea.

It's a solid record all the same, even though the songs aggressively blur together and could arguably be played in any order. But as background music, it still holds up.