Shade
"Forever Now, Nowhere Tomorrow"

(Lovely Recordings 2002)Shade - Forever Now, Nowhere Tomorrow

Dark and with a certain tone of heaviness, Shade's "Forever Now, Nowhere Tomorrow" is a mix of indie rock influences that include everything from a catchy bounciness to minimal guitar riffs with vocals in their dreamy, far away sound. Shade do not so much grab your attention as slowly pull you in, note by note and song by song, with memorable, melodic instrumentation and gently swooning vocals.

The slow build from the relatively simple to the dreamy intensity of "Hurricane" opens the album aptly. Buzzing behind an effective guitar riff, "Chemicals & Criminals" is engaging while the speeding indie rock of "Automatic" has a familiar feel and sound. Slower, while developing intensity and quickening its pace, "Smile" gets your attention by the ending chorus of "It's the way that she smiles." Rhythmic and different for the album, "Mellow" is bouncy guitar rock as the instrumentally focused "Dream Happy" is smart and memorable. Accented by simple piano and slower before adding a wall of fuzzy guitars is "Marooned" while "Spider Rock" is quick and straightforward guitar rock. Adding some soft "oohs," "Breathless" is a gentle mid tempo tune before a lively electric guitar led end. Quick and slightly darker, "Freedom Fighter" stands out on the album before the calm and dreamy album end of "On My Way."

Dreamy throughout the album, whether Shade ever offers a climax is debatable as the band rarely wanders too far from their home base. Focused and serious, Shade know what they want to do and rarely offer any self indulgences as each part, vocal and instrumental, blends together to create a unified sound that just would not sound the same without one part. "Forever Now, Nowhere Tomorrow" offers Shade's smart and inviting version of indie rock that is both dreamy and gloomy at the same time.

B+

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