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The Exquisite Death of Saxon Shore [Vinyl]

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Vinyl, September 5, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

The Exquisite Death of Saxon Shore is characterized by Saxon Shore's lush, intense, melodic brand of instrumental rock. The full-length is a vibrant mix of electronics and acoustic instruments, all filtered through the expert and artful ears of engineer, producer, and mixer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, Sleater-Kinney). Through 10 songs, Saxon Shore explores the story of their own hypothetical death complete with a moment of silence to close the album. Saxon Shore has been touring extensively in support of this album, with a full US tour in summer 2006. Vinyl.
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (September 5, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Burnt Toast Vinyl
  • ASIN: B000GB75G0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #511,478 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

5 star
86%
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3 star
14%
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The term "progressive rock" was such a loaded term from the late 70s up until the early 2000s, conjuring for some images of lyrics about Rivendell, singers dressed as flowers, and mellotrons performing un-natural acts. Bands seemed to fall into one of two categories, either retread imitation of early Genesis and Gentle Giant, or a simple transition to the more rarified, less affected and intriguing paths of ambient music.

By the early 2000s, though, a series of bands have arisen that

once again do not mind playing in the progressive genre. Saxon Shore is a kind of adopted cousin of these bands, creating a form of "ambient progressive rock" that's entirely pleasing.

In "The Exquisite Death of Saxon Shore", the focus is on instrumental pieces (with a vocal sample or two) which shimmer with ambient electronica, and yet deliver a straight-ahead melodic rock punch. This is not formula music or another "prog rock jam",but instead this is intelligent, capably performed complex rock artistry.

Each song is pleasing, but there is no real concession to radio-ready pop. This is not some Alan Parsons Project production-values-safari, but instead a less mannered, more "real rock" album.

I attribute some of the virtue of the album to the influences of minimalist and space ambient upon the artists. Although this is not an ambient album *per se*, several themes appear which indicate a focus on sound-as-sound rather than on tired pop cliche.

No track excites the "over the top pretension" wince that some progressive music can provide. The album instead features a spareness in its feel that is completely winning.

If you are hunting for a Heaven in which people play intelligent rock the way that bands off the beaten track like 801 used to play, then you may wish to join in the exquisite death of Saxon Shore.
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Format: Audio CD
Being a fan of this genre for quite a while, I was starting to grow a bit bored. I heard Explosions in the Sky's All of the Sudden I Miss Everyone before its release, and I had my fill of Sigur Ros and GYBE! for a while.

Then I found Saxon Shore. This band takes a whole new take on the genre. They take your typical build-up and climax rule that's basically a law to any post-rock band and expand on it, adding things like small interludes and electronic bits into their songs.

These songs do not simply start out soft, build up, and then end in an amazing catharsis of cymbals and heavy distortion. Their build ups have breaks and many of these songs have multiple climaxes, which could be called pre-climaxes. Trust me, though, you will know when the final one comes without even looking at what part of the song you're at.

If you're a fan of the genre or are looking to get into the genre, I couldn't reccomend The Exquisite Death of Saxon Shore any more. It is currently my favourite album.
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Format: Audio CD
Finally, an album-length CD from one of the finest instrumental rock bands in existence. This 10-track album contains probably the finest work this quartet has yet composed. Rife with powerful emotion and yearning, the bombastic explosions build upon their previous albums and go so much further. They matured their sound to sound a bit like a combination of Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Rós, Mono, and M83. It's powerful yet gentle, melancholy yet joyful. It's powerful, delicate beauty and, oh, so exquisite indeed.
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Format: Audio CD
So, I'm new to Saxon Shore but I feel like this is the kind of post-hardcore instrumental cine-rock that I've been craving for years. Adding to what the previous reviewer had started, this band is as if Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Ros, and M83 had a magical love child with bigger, better, and stronger balls than anything seen or heard before.

I highly recommend this album to anyone and everyone, unless you're one of the brainwashed morons who listens to Black Eyed Peas, Gwen Stefani, and Madonna. Then you probably won't enjoy this album, let alone would you ever find your way to this page.

But for those of you who have found this page and want to listen to some amazing new music, then this is for you. Listen to "Isolated By The Secrets Of Your Fellow Man" and if that doesn't move you, check your pulse.

Thanks. Enjoy!

-j-
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