Fjord Rowboat Saved the Compliments for Morning

Despite the derision it constantly gets, there will always be a place for shoegazer music. But most bands have learned from past mistakes and tend to incorporate the swirling haze of guitars into more energetic surroundings, giving the bands reasons to dance and not, as the name implies, gaze at their shoes. Fjord Rowboat attempt to vary the classic shoegazer formula in some songs but this album, as a whole, falters in the classic sense — everything just bleeds together. Songs come and go, and while the overall effort is extremely lush and professional there is little that reaches out and demands attention. "Can’t See the Sun” uses a brisk beat and a forceful delivery to make itself heard, and it is definitely a bright spot, along with "Through the Morning Light,” which is classic shoegazer beauty. One of the main concerns about this debut is the deathly serious nature of the songs. The opposite approach to shoegazer was found in Asobi Seksu’s Citrus, where the twirls of feedback and layered guitars were given a dollop of fun and colour. Lighten up and have fun is the simple advice, since this band certainly have the chops and vision to make something great. (Independent)