Shapes Stars Make - Shapes Stars Make
Shapes Stars Make are big post-rock fans. You can just tell that from their shoegazing leads and melodic runs, atmospheric tinkering and the hammering drums that soften up as required. At times worshipping at the altars of this sound's forerunning artists (EITS, Sigur Ros, Mono), and at times pulling the songs into poppier territory which for some reason reminds me of Coldplay...I suppose this style of music is basically soft rock done progressively.
Their S/T album is full of uplifting and emotionally charged moments where they take a riff and build around it, slowly increasing the tempo until their point is driven home. It's not difficult to see on songs like "The Lion and the Bear" and "This is Epic" that they're walking a path other bands have; the resemblance to Explosions In The Sky just cannot be denied. It is this closeness and familiarity that spells both good and bad things for SSM: good that they're working on an established base of fans far and wide, bad that those same fans could just as easily turn their back on the band for being clone-like. They do manage to hit moments of pure originality, few and far between, that represent this s/t album's highlights.
On the whole, the 6 tracks here are better than bad but far from being great. They're just too similar to great songs of their ilk to make it to that point, but diehard fans of EITS and that sound will no doubt find much to love here. The inclusion of vocals sets them apart from the instrumental shoegazers, but they're nothing special beyond the slight depth they add to the compositions. You're better off with the original articles, but for individuals looking for variety in their post-rock collection, Shapes Stars Make might just provide it for you.
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on 2008-06-12 SolitaryMan Said:
It's entirely possible that they'll turn some heads with future work, so long as they keep developing their own sound. Sorry but that just didn't come through on these songs, only in brief moments. It's still worth recommending to EITS fans and such.
on 2008-06-10 youthinkurspecial Said:
My opinion of this album is quite different. I do agree that Shapes Stars Make share similarities with EITS, after all, they share the same producer (John Congleton). However, evident on the band's debut EP, is a sound unique in its atypical condensation of genre techniques. Where as most indie bands experimenting with post-rock textures tend to develop around mellow, restrained build-ups and finishes, SSM represents six tracks equally gentle and melodic as they are massive in volume. In specific, opener "Let It Be Morning" concludes in a distortion-filled cacophony of layered guitars, synth, and drums reminiscent of the epic climaxes of Mono and early Mogwai. In the abbreviated span of thirty minutes, Shapes Stars Make have announced themselves to indie and post-rock purists alike as a group to watch for in the near future.