ALBUM REVIEW: “Violent Hearts” by Shimmering Stars

September 07. 2011 | By Mike Sabino

Shimmering Stars
Violent Hearts
[Hardly Art]

The Shimmering Stars’ listed influences – the Everly Brothers, Del Shannon, Bo Diddley and Phil Spector– appear throughout their debut Violent Hearts, landing September 13th. This Canadian threesome of Rory McClure (guitar), Andrew Dergousoff (drums), and Brent Sasaki (bass) feel closer to Roy Orbison, Dick Dale’s “Let’s Go Tripping” and The Everly Brother’s “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” than country influenced songs like “Bye Bye Love.”

Beach Boys and Mamas & Papas vocals (minus mamas), ride ’60s longboard guitars, pipelined through ocean-sized Spector overdub waves. This isn’t just good vibrations of summer days, but love-torn dark nights, in lyrics, tone, and humor. “No One’s” dreamy vocals and romantic ’60s guitar pop starts clean and sweet, subtlety turning darker and distorted by verses’ end. “Walk Away” builds from soft ripple to tsunami. “I’m Gonna Try” exemplifies their ability to genuinely conjure surf and pop ghosts, marrying them to modern shoegazer sensibilities and dark humorous lyrics: “Walking down the street and I wanna kill everyone I see… In my heart is a violence that I cannot dispel…”

When first diving in, a desire for experimental twists remains unfulfilled, but gradually everything washes together magically. The album reaches its horizon, not due to discovering giant unknown musical creatures, nor just from comforting repetitious sound-waves, but from surrendering to charming subtle pleasures. With instantly catchy songs, great harmonies, and melodies, their sound is vast yet intimate, nostalgic, and new. Their simplicity serves the song, creating fresh flourishes of lo-fi magic which glisten atop ripples of dark retro dreamy surf pop.

Download Shimmering Stars – I’m Gonna Try MP3 HERE!

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