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Style Minus Substance: California’s Shuteye Unison

Posted by February 10th, 2011 No Comments »

Shuteye Unison – Our Future Selves
Parks and Records
By Matt Ashworth 

I’m no stranger to taking comfort in the gentle indie rock melodies and subtle, psychedelic pop shimmers displayed on albums like Shuteye Unison‘s Our Future Selves. Heck, early progenitors like Ride and Chapterhouse make up a key part of my musical DNA.

But whereas modern disciples like Grandaddy and Deerhunter use soft vocals and layered guitars as one ingredient in a more compelling and original musical stew, Shuteye Unison haven’t quite landed on something memorable enough to command repeated listens.

Opener and single “Be Kimball” sets a nice Smashing Pumpkins style alt-rock chug and “Traffic” creates a swirling, intriguing atmosphere, but even the puzzling powerhouse of this genre, Death Cab for Cutie, offers some incredibly catchy tunes and memorable choruses from time to time. Unfortunately, outside of the gorgeous melodies on standout track “Swear Words,” Shuteye Unison has yet to perfect that kind of substance beneath their style. – 5/10

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