The Shore

The Shore EP

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It's the obvious reference, and an unavoidable truth. From the splotchy watercolor cover art and stately linear font to the warm quaver of main brain Ben Ashley's vocal, this introductory EP from L.A.-ists the Shore is a stylish appropriation of the dusky psychedelic country sound favored by the Verve for Urban Hymns. "And the ocean of our lives is fading," Ashley drawls on "Hold On," channeling a bit of Richard Ashcroft's drug culture Van Morrison hippie-speak. "Makes Me Feel Free" taps sitar effects, trippy, loping rhythms, and jibberish about sunshine smiles; "I Found You" is a soft-peddled jangle ballad with a pretty nice female harmony vocal. The production is tasteful to the point of exhaustion, and everything's hooky enough to believe the band's eventual debut will be more of the same. Even if poor ol' Ashcroft does a spit take all over his fur coat when he hears them, the Shore will still be soundtracking kissing scenes on the second season of The OC.

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