Album Review

Daniel Burton has been making music for the past 10 years under various headings, but his newest release and fifth overall is as the Early Day Miners. Offshorewas originally composed in 2001 for the Let Us Garlands Bring album and then re-recorded last year in Los Angeles and Bloomington, Indiana. But the record sounds like it could have come out 10 years ago—maybe even 15. Although the concept is a bit confusing, most of the material (outside of the two nine-minute tracks bookending the album) is pretty easy to wrap your head around. On "Return of the Native," we are treated to the vocals of Amber Webber of Black Mountain fame; she adds a hauntingly beautiful quality to this track and takes the theme of the record from present-day Mogwai back to My Bloody Valentine—maybe even further toward the Cocteau Twins. (As an aside, the Cocteau Twins' first record was called Garlands, which might have been a little foreshadowing/inspiration for Mr. Burton.) But while those earlier bands had a sense of dynamic that pulled you in and out, most of Offshore treads somewhere in the middle. This can work for bands like Brightblack Morning Light, but here it drags. Although there are a few bright spots on the record—like Webber's "Native" track and the almost gospel "Deserter"—the rest easily becomes just a soundtrack for the weekly trip to the laundromat.


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