With all the reverbed drenched, sun-kissed “jams” and grainy, youtube clip videos floating around the interwebs, you can’t read a review that doesn’t force teenage love down your throat. We get it; Beach Boys pop songs are ear pleasing and remind us how great it felt to find your Summer crush, but just because a band prefers muddled, surfy melodies doesn’t make every song a return to the Blue fucking Lagoon.
Personally, I don’t want to revisit the awkward years of adolescences and even though it’s become increasingly less cool, the thing I pine for is straight up guitar records with riffs and huge choruses. You want nostalgia? Why not remember when songs used to have melody, bridges and choruses. Or how about when you could actually make out those girl obsessed and sci-fi laced lyrics.
Enter Ian Kehoe, a.k.a, Marine Dreams. His self-titled debut is compact, efficient and effective. Ten-songs and just over a half an hour of solid guitar work, emotion, and harmonies. Kehoe’s routinely builds riffs that seems simple on the surface, but connect with the listener instantly without tricks or studio magic. He channels Petty and Young and offers comforting, muscular chugs that explode when he gets to the chorus. The vocals aren’t hidden in the mix to mask imperfections, in fact Kehoe’s celebrates the rough edges. He openly strains to hit notes and sometimes threatens to fall out of tune, but Ian’s voice fits his chords like a tailored suit.
Marine Dreams is everything I love about guitar music. Kehoe’s ability to find melody from the most inauspicious chords and captivate me with premature endings and new beginnings is a lost skill. If there’s anything to be nostalgic about, it’s that in an age of seemingly endless musical access, song writers like Kehoe are becoming almost impossible to find.
MP3:: Marine Dreams – Visions