29 Jan 2022 - Sebastian
Emo / Pop punk | End Hits Records | Release date: 04 Feb 2022
Clean-ish guitars, heavy drums and lyrics with attitude. These three things sum up the music of Shoreline pretty well. The four musicians are the newest signing to End Hits Records who now finally, after a longer than expected waiting time, release their second album Growth.
It is an album full of political and ethical topics. The songs tell stories of racism, climate change and much more. If you gave this description to any number of music enthusiast, most of their verdicts would be clear: This sounds like a hardcore album! But it isn’t. Shoreline’s musical roots lie in the hardcore scene and their debut Eat My Soul is much closer to that music than their sophomore album. Growth has glimpses of rougher music, but is more oriented towards emo and pop-punk, which definitely isn’t a bad thing and with singer Hansol’s improved vocal style, it fits their style amazingly.
The album starts with the very moody, lo-fi ”I grew up on easy street” which is a very calm and reduced song, with repetitive strumming on one guitar and laid back drums. The song does not want to serve as a criticism of growing up in privileged surroundings, like Stray from the Path did with ”First world problem child”, but wants us to be mindful of the privileges we were given with our upbringings and that we should put them to good use, to not let it go to waste.
”Distant” then serves as a sonic demonstration of how versatile Shoreline can be. It is punky, straight forward and somewhat of a wakeup call after the opener. The music video to this song, like all their videos, perfectly displays the song’s topic. Hansol lies on the ground, equipped with VR goggles, while around him someone gets bludgeoned and he doesn’t notice the threat that is coming towards him.
The videos for their singles were all super creative. The video for ”Meat Free Youth” has them butchering melons and hunting pumpkins and carrots. It is one of several collaborations with guest artists. On ”Distant” it is the German band Smile and Burn, here it is the British punk band Nervus. The guest parts are always very cleverly interwoven with the rest of the song, which also causes them not to stick out that much, which can be either a good or a bad thing, depending on whom you ask. In my opinion, the features always add something to the song and are not there just for the sake of a having “another” feature.
Of the five singles that have been released in advance it would be hard for me to pick a definite favorite, but ”Konichiwa” is certainly a contender for the spot. It is a song about anti-Asian racism, which Hansol has experienced himself, and the struggle to find his own identity. If you are interested in more background info on that and much more, check our interview with Hansol on Sunday, February 6th.
Damn, the next song ”Sanctuary” is also such an amazing song and a real hardcore banger! When the breakdown hits, you might put your furniture at risk. This one is just such an energetic song inviting you to turn your stereo up to eleven and tearing down the living room. ”White Boys Club” which comes right after this 1:56 minute long aggressive piece, couldn’t be more of a contrast. It is about the contradiction often found in the hardcore and metal scene: “Yes, we are an open culture and accept everyone, no matter race, gender or anything.” Question: “How come that on so many concerts and tours the line-up and crowd is mostly the same white men aged 20 to 40?!”
”Disconnected” is another of my favorites. The dichotomy of the upbeat sounding (while lyrically not being) chorus and the really (!!) hardhitting breakdown towards the end is just such a joy to listen to. Just like all of their songs before and the ones after, this track also has a strong message – concerning the impact of meat production on the environment and climate change in general.
The band really has a diverse selection of topics on Growth and ”Raccoon City” explores yet another one, which has not been a topic in many songs before. It is about dumpster diving, which in Germany is by law the theft of goods from the trash of groceries and thus illegal. It does not stop divers from saving things like produce and canned goods from going to the landfill, just because having passed their “best before”-date.
To finally come to a conclusion: Shoreline have created a fantastic album, which sounds amazing and points the finger at various shortcomings of today’s society without being overly preachy or judgemental. Musically, they have grown a lot since Eat my Soul and continuously developed their own sound. They are a band you should definitely keep an eye on and also spend the 30 minutes to listen to this amazing second LP.