Dave McGovern
staff writer
November 03, 2005
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Rock Music Reviews
Saxon Shore
The Exquisite Death of

Instrumental rock is a touchy subject; for some it is a savior, for others a complete joke. I am of the school that gives a lot of credit to the genre as long as it is not taken too serious; the theatrics without the dramatics. This is the blend of Saxon Shore’s latest release, The Exquisite Death of.

The album opens with a hum and a hiss of “The Revolution will be Streaming.” Echoes and bass heartbeats follow. The song is an ocean with calm waves placating the pebbly beach. Then, as the sun rises, the surf begins to pound the rocky outcrops. The wind is constant and unforgiving. The keyboard melody runs throughout the song, becoming part of its, no, the listeners biology. The melody is carbon; it is ancient and it is alive.

The excitement of the first song wears off as the song construction pattern becomes apparent; static with a simple keyboard melody, the song builds, undulates, deconstructs, whispers, moans, screams and then dies. Some of the other songs do stand out though. “Marked With Knowledge” has chittering laughing keys skipping hand in hand with chattering hi-hat; feedback, loops and electronic chicanery round out the track. Each track is a life, a journey from the moment of birth to death; 80 – 8 million years squeezed into 5 minutes. I am exaggerating (a little), but if you have seen this band live you will understand.

This is where the magic of Saxon Shore lies. The wall of sound recorded is attention grabbing, but live it is astounding and unbelievable. The band seems to be blowing a hole through the fabric of time and space. The Exquisite Death of does not really capture this world altering sound that the band is capable of creating live. The album at its worst is background music at a New York City T-shirt shop and at its best it is the life blood of the universe as well as the echoes of the Big Bang. Saxon Shore is a fantastic band and The Exquisite Death of would make a good first impression or reaffirm believers of instrumental rock.

Release date: October 18, 2005
Label: Burnt Toast Vinyl
Rating: 6.5 / 10

On the web: http://www.saxonshore.com
[RMR]