“coup de grace” reviews:
via Var/no idea records:
“The roots of Michigan’s SHORES tap the wellspring of RED HOUSE PAINTERS, BEDHEAD, THE NEW YEAR, CODEINE, LOW, SPAIN, SEAM, and SLOWDIVE. The first haunting note of “Coup de Grace” rings out, clear and clean, followed in time by another drenched in natural reverb, the living sound of a dark, wooden room. Not a cathedral, not a church, but a place of warmth and comfort nonetheless. The patient crescendo builds, the percussion kicks in, rocketing the dynamics into full play. Clean guitars, loud drums, clear vocals. Purposeful over casual, downbeat yet forward moving. Dark, not depressing. A rainy day, a late night adventure.”
“Fans of hardcore and pop-punk know No Idea, the Gainesville, Fl.-based label responsible for superb releases from acts including Armalite, Lifetime and J Church (RIP Lance). The label’s aesthetic is well-established, but one new No Idea release from Michigan-based and un-Google-able slowcore duo Shores challenges it, and suggests that No Idea is now about more than, well, all that stuff we mentioned above. Take, for example, the track “Meanwhile” from Shores’ debut Coup De Grace, issued by No Idea Oct. 31 in a limited first-run of colored vinyl with a screen-printed cover and download code. It’s measured, meditative, melodic and dynamic, and it hits a strident crescendo two-thirds of a way through that recalls certain fine moments from T.W. Walsh and Codeine.”
via blogs.miaminewtimes.com ”song of the day”:
“On “Meanwhile,” there’s something lush and muted that almost begs a country twang or two. Certainly, though, Shores’ sound certainly falls into the post-hardcore arena of flannel shirts and unkempt beards. There’s something abrasive too. And I guess that’s partly because of Massel’s Michigan roots and his association with North Lincoln. In general, comparisons can be drawn with Codeine and Spain. But I’m also seeing the kind of stuff you’d expect from Plan-It-X Records bands, which is cool in a slow sway kind of way.”
“Grand Rapids, MI rockers Shores have put together a gorgeous album called Coup de Grace, and it’s all heart!”
“sad indie, a la bands like bedhead and seam. rocking and slow. bit of both. best thing on no idea in yonks.”
“This release definitely took me by surprise. I know John Massel, the drummer on Coup De Grace, from his work with North Lincoln. I was basically expecting something along those lines—gruff, gritty Midwestern punk rock. Coup De Grace doesn’t even come close to that sound though. It’s really more akin to Low or other “slowcore” bands from the nineties. It also reminds me in certain spots of Elliot Smith, especially some of the melodies. If you’re into stuff like that, Shores would definitely be worth checking out. I, however, am not really into bands like that, and found the album boring and slightly too long. Try as I might, (and I gave this considerably more listens than I normally would, for fear that I might be missing something) I just couldn’t get into this record. It’s cool to see folks breaking out of their box a little bit, but this record remains snooze-inducing to me. (RyanH)”
via addictif zine: [google translation]
“This is a record that will make fans of the label in Florida quandary. And maybe even make them wonder about the fate of their favorite label. For this first album Shores, duo born from the ashes of Blatant and North Lincoln, has absolutely nothing to do with punk rock or hardcore hoarse frenzy that usually publishes No Idea. No, here we are in the so-called slowcore and absolute references to gender are Codeine and Slint.
From slowcore is not doom. It would have been able to actually be, but that’s not it at all. It is slow music, yes, it agreed, without artifice, without extravagance, and almost without saturation. The atmospheres are not onerous, nor the songs are powerful and wild. In contrast, in the slowcore, we are more in an ethereal atmosphere, hazy, depressed. It is clearly closer to the post-rock than metal. Coup de Grace of Shores has it all at once, nauseating ambiences, a constant climate of unease, a musical environment that is simple but bold. Undaunted, the duo as drums / guitar knows shape disturbances with this style ultra calibrated. On one song to another, if the musical content never changes, the band can be more frisky and more balanced, sometimes daring few noisy welcome transverse recess or tortuous post-rock. So yes, fans of No Idea HOOK perhaps not on this new prod (unless they are fully depressed), but in these times of extreme cold and days getting shorter, Coup de Grace is a perfect companion to look out the window at the snow falling and passing pedestrians. - PEPT Ramriez”
via heavy boots:
“First things first, talk about a late contender for a lot of “top 5 best of 2010” list right here. I’m not going to write a long review on this for three reasons. The first being that if you click the “buy” link above (which you should be doing without being told) you will see a long review of this record. The second, I just got it and haven’t even listened to it all the way through and the third, I’m exhausted. Just know that this record is incredible and its sound fits somewhere between something Mark Kozelek related and Pygmy Lush with a lot of 90’s shoegaze thrown in for good measure. No seriously, that’s what it sounds like. I know, it’s almost too good to be true.”
“Michigan’s Shores remind us of the great slowcore bands from back in the day, like Bedhead and Codeine. Their debut album, Coup De Grace, is out now on No Idea, and you can stream the whole thing here [punknews]. The duo has already recorded its sophomore LP, To Volstead, which is due out in the spring. Check out the video for Coup De Grace track “One Palm Sunday,” and tell us it doesn’t make you thirsty for a few cold ones.”
“Anyone with an ear for slow-burning, rainy-day rock music should be genuinely excited to hear a new album that recalls the beautifully unfolding guitar work of Bedhead and The New Year, with just enough of a punk edge to avoid becoming too dreary (Shores’ drummer John Massel was in North Lincoln — admittedly a by-the-numbers Hot Water Music-esque group, but a post-hardcore band, nonetheless). Coup de Grace, Shores’ debut LP, recalls much of the clear and downbeat rock of ’90s slowcore, sounding pretty close to Codeine’s cerebral melancholy but with Seam’s melodic drive.
Opening track “Meanwhile” sets out Shores’ modus operandi quite clearly: Stark and clean guitar notes, a slowly building tempo and a sneaking sense of melody that manages to creep up more and more as the album progresses. A song like “Roux,” however, is far more uptempo than a genre called “slowcore” would ever imply, with a melody that blooms gorgeously in its latter half. What’s so appealing about Coup de Grace is that this Michigan-based duo creates music that feels like an authentic progression of a mostly dormant ’90s sound — there’s enough common ground here that open-minded, introverted punks should be able to enjoy this as much as the indie dorks who even know what “slowcore” means. This one is for the patient: Repeat listening is a rewarding necessity.”
“If I didn’t know better, and you told me after listening that this record featured two dudes from North Lincoln I would have had you thrown out of the room for your imbecilic facetiousness. How could this lumbering, miserable, slowed down indie rock possibly be progenated from two guys in a band that basically sound like Hot Water Music did 12 years ago? Then I remembered that North Lincoln was linked to the Hartford Whalers, and at one point, ONE POINT, I am pretty sure that those guys said they were gonna do a band that sounded like the Blacktop Cadence. This is years ago now. Maybe this is as close as we’ll get. Maybe the guy who was in that band isn’t on this record anyway. But it’ll do. That reminds me actually, I need to dig out my copy of the Hartford Whalers CD, it was pretty good. So where was I, oh yes, Shores, playing slomo (SLOW EMO), a little Bedhead, a little Seam, a little second LP era Boys Life, a little Boilermaker too. Yep! I bet that will set a select few C-Zine pulses racing. And the super pretty guitars on “Canned” remind me of Kepler’s awesome “Fuck Fight Fail” lp. The songs are mostly slow and dreamy, with pretty guitars slowed down to a snails pace and laboured vocals drawling a monotone over the top. Yet it’s not afraid to build up and rock out as and when required, hitting a pulsating groove from time to time to bring songs to a close. It works so well. I don’t have much more than this to add though. Shores have made a cracking album, and I like to listen to it.
This is definitely a late contender for top 10 records of the year, even if it could have come out in 1997. I hope this is a sign that No Idea is looking to expand their horizons once more, to take a few risks. No doubt it’ll sit in their back catalogue ridiculously, like the Moonraker 10”. Unwanted and unloved by bearded bros who listen to an MP3 and gawp open mouthed at their bearded bro and go “FUCK MAN, WHAT IS UP WITH THE SINGING? AND WHY IS THIS SHIT SO FUCKING SLOW? TURN THIS THE FUCK OFF BRO, FOR REAL, LETS GO DRINK BEERS ON THE PORCH AND LISTEN TO OFF WITH THEIR HEADS.”“
“Yes, it’s on No Idea. No, it doesn’t sound like that. It’s a duo that creates the perfect soundtrack for rainy days. Think Slint, Slowdive, Codeine or Red House Painters. It’s the kind of record you all will be asking for years after it went out of print, because you didn’t realize how fucking good this is…”
“Not your usual offering from No Idea, but worthy of your attention all the same. Michigan duo Shores will pull you into a wintry, slowpaced haze and crescendos rising from the tinkling intros envelop you in a haunting, yet calming musical blanket. Shores make it all sound so effortless: subtle melodies twist their way around carved out guitar lines and prominent drums. It’s clean without being over-produced and offers dark and moody vibes, strung along by the constant promise of a climactic finale. Very much compelling, charming, subdued, delicate and mesmerising – check it out. For fans of: The New Year, Low”
via reckless records:
“2010 full length from Michigan’s SHORES. Think LOW / CODEINE / BEDHEAD / SEAM…. they inject enough dynamic to keep things interesting. The kind of record you’d have found on Touch & Go during the mid 90s (& loved). Comes with free digital download. On NO IDEA records and… H I G H L Y R E C O M M E N D E D !!!”
“It’s hard to sum up what exactly Shores do. While it recalls slowcore acts like Seam and Codeine, that doesn’t do Coup De Grace justice. On monstrous opener “Meanwhile,” Shores display an ability to be both atmospheric and moody without ever losing a sense of purpose. There’s not a chorus – in the conventional sense – to be found on Coup De Grace, but it still has hooks. The vocal melodies sink into your psyche and stay there for days while the music haunts without ever threatening. Coup De Grace is a paradox. Its simplicity is complex and gigantic. With a second album and numerous split EPs already completed there’s plenty more great things to come from Shores in the near future, so you best get on board. Recommended tracks: “Meanwhile” | “Roux” | “Engage, Pall””
“Considering the general releases from No Idea Records, Shores’ beautiful debut LP Coup de Grace seems slightly out of place. Then again, feeling out of place seems to be what this band is all about. Shores’ slow and minimal shoegaze-meets-slowcore approach is a far cry from bands like Against Me! or drummer John Massel’s previous band North Lincoln. Lacking they may be in the areas of gritty punk rock, Shores are still able to hang onto the flannels and beards. The two-piece sounds like My Bloody Valentine by way of slowcore pioneers Codeine. Most of the songs start slow and twangy, build to an epic crescendo, then decline just as quickly as they climax. The melancholy slow picked spaghetti-western guitar that kicks off the opening song “Meanwhile” showcases Shores’ ability to quote different genres without losing focus. The band’s lyrics seem to deal with self-analysis and observations of social interactions — much more introverted than what No Idea fans will be used to. Despite quoting genres, the album consistently stays in the same mood throughout the 38 minutes the vinyl runs. It’s not a record to put on to skate or smash the state to — it’s more of an album for when you just what to shell up and reflect.”
via derives: [translated]
“From Grand Rapids, Michigan, Shores is a duo formed by Brian Przybylski (guitar, vocals, bass) and John Massel (drums) and their debut album is a pure slowcore jewel with obvious references to some absolute masters of the genre such as Bedhead, Seam, Codeine, Low, Red House Painters, Kepler, C-Clamp or Bluetile Lounge. ”Coup de grâce” is often slow, sometimes more rapid but always dealing with tension, self-restraint and release, using a certain idea of minimalism, spleen & melancholy, a sense warmth and strong personal emotions, while keeping in phase with a definite natural even if sometimes contained dynamism, while never focusing on the subject of melodies. You would take it one way or the other, one thing is obvious, “Coup de Grâce” is a pure slowcore album, intense and austere, haunting and ,for a good part yes, depressive, but giving the urge and dedication to go through and resist, and that way they share and reach this state of transcendence so emblematic of the genre. Recorded in 2008, mixed in 2009 and finally mastered and released in 2010, the duo seems to have been through a slow process, and you can feel it very quickly through the depth of their work. I have the feeling that Brian Przybylski spent much more time than usually for him about polishing these song in order to keep only the strict minimum, giving meaning to every nuance. Like most of the albums of the genre, “Coup de grace” is a slow burner and it takes a certain time to personally adopt and fully enjoy their songs. It is also obvious that they were learning through the process, discovering the power of their songwriting along the conception of this album and it’s not surprise that such a process didn’t end here as they are already not so far to finish a second album. Both have played in various, sometimes more noisy and hardcore bands before, but with Shores, they seem to reach another level with this successful and serious adoption of a slowcore brilliancy, ethically and aesthetically. Some might say that this genre seemed to be specific of the nineties, but once that sait it is also obvious that most of the good albums of this genre survive really well through the years and never sound old or outdated. Considering this first album, Shores for me belongs up to now to the same family of bands as C-Clamp or Kepler, or are really similar to what Bedhead or even Codeine had achieved at the beginning of their careers. They are not strictly clearing new grounds but mostly laying the foundations of their discography as you can only be certain they will probably evolve again, who takes it slow and steady goes a long way. My favorite tracks among the eight one are, without surprise the slower ones : the opener “Meanwhile”, the arresting “One Palm Sunday”, the overwhelmingly restrained “Shame on nameless”, the both euphoric and depressive “Engage, all”, the poignant and emotional “Canned Heat. I enjoy this album, it’s a really god one but I also have the feeling that for Shores, the best is yes to come, a few passages on certain songs are really like semi-open doors the band will probably fully explore on their highly anticipated second full length.”
“Clanging guitars, laid-back vocals and comparatively busy non-standard drum patterns – a familiar format, but a fresh take nonetheless from this Grand Rapids indie duo (quartet live!). Ranging from a whispered secret to a dull roar, this disc remains strong from start to finish. Sounding more like June of 44 than Red House Painters, the band could certainly share a bill with either. Weighing in at 40 minutes with only eight songs, the disc requires a bit of an attention span, or at least patience, which is a fair thing to require of a music listener.”
“Shores are a duo from Michigan who exist in the vein of bands like Codeine, Bedhead, Low and I Hate Myself (IHM’s quieter moments anyway). I had been anticipating their record due to them sharing a member with Midwestern pop-punk band North Lincoln (drummer John Massel) of who I am a fan, but upon the records release discovered that the North Lincoln link is fairly meaningless as Shores are pure slowcore brilliance. The anticipation however, was still well worth it…
The eight songs that make up Coup de Grace are mesmerizing and extremely compelling. Starting out delicate and restrained, they slowly and patiently build tension, eventually releasing into sprawling, climatic crescendos. The guitar sounds beautiful, the drums loud and clear, the vocals warm. The tone of the record feels sad and melancholy, but never, ever depressing. For the most part the record stays in this rainy haze, but things do get a little more upbeat with the track “Roux” where the band showcase more of an indie rock sound.
This is a really impressive debut record, and I get the feeling some truly great music is to follow.”
“Slowcore was an indie subgenre in the ‘90s, characterized by a moody sound with whispered vocals and sneaky grooves. Some of the popular slowcore bands were Slint, Low, and Codeine. Shores are staying true to the style. It sounds like they recorded this record in a giant cabin in the woods, each band member standing twenty yards from the next. I tend to find this type of stuff tedious, hookless, and devoid of joy, and Shores are no exception, but this record is heavy on atmosphere and grew on me as it spun, drawing me into its hushed, dark world. –CT Terry (No Idea)”