Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Celestial Shore/Shopping Spree split LP (2012)

Prison Art Records has done a remarkable job of straddling what I assumed was a sharp line between cutesy and noisy in its year or so of existence. Their first release was the stutter-stop noise garage of Sarongs, which was belied by the Unicorns-esque cutesy pop of Each Other's 2012 EP. Now, Celestial Shore and Shopping Spree offer you nine tracks of quirky, free form pop just in time for Christmas, Channukah, and Kwanzaa.

Implicit in the name Celestial Shores (heavenly, breezy, sea-related, vaguely blue) is the four tracks of sedate, off-kilter pop found herein. I'm guessing these guys used to be real into Hella, but at some point started smoking weed and taking Xanax and chilled the fuck out. "Tick Tock" has a rumbling, mean-spirited spazz out bridge, but Celestial Shores mostly does a brisk business in songs that are the closest I'll come this year to lullabies. The singer on "Growing Old" gently purr-sings sweet nothings around the slightly contorted rhythm section; for a moment around 1.07, it sounds like it's gonna dissolve into abrasive violence, but then the light-as-air vocals return and your valium cocoon closes in again.

Shopping Spree goes in for a mixture of children's toys, delightfully blissed out, faded singsong voices, and hushed drum work. Suffice to say, this is not my forte. Instead of embarrassing myself by making outrageous claims either way about Shopping Spree's work, I corralled some girl with big Buddy Holly glasses at the cafe I'm sitting in, and asked her to give me her opinion regarding Shopping Spree. Her response upon hearing "Eye Bridges" and "Prayer Chiefs" was: "Yeah this is pretty cool. I mean, it's been raining the last four days [ed.'s note: I'm in Portland, Oregon at the moment] so like you could throw this on and spend the rest of the day smoking weed, y'know? But like I'd wanna start playing along with a Casio keyboard. So yeah, they're cool." The youth of Portland have spoken: Shopping Spree is an accetable soundtrack for blowing the winter blues away via found objects and drugs.

You can listen to the split, then BUY IT, here. Celestial Shore is on tour this January-check out the dates here. I'm gonna go try and find that girl and see if she wants to drink Ouzo and listen to THIS. Peace.

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