A fevered dream mixed between Joy Division and Dick Dale, Portland based rock trio Shotski’s newly released EP, “Pipedream”, is a surreal delight. Everything about the collection has a blurred beauty to it. Instrumentally vibrant, they combine a wide variety of styles into the mix. Truly impossible to pinpoint, Shotski show off their impressive chops as riffs run through the whole.
Catchiness reigns supreme nicely anchored by a nimble rhythm section, physical drums and steady bass helping to complete the balancing act. Then there are those poetic lyrics that seem far-off, constantly weaving in and out of focus. Shotski prove to be deft editors of their work with no moment ever overstaying its welcome.
The laid-back, chilled-out groove reveal a fondness for a hazy summer heat with a hint of air-conditioned cool. The production has a luxurious quality to it with the arrangements hinting at vast terrain. Storytelling has an introspective fervor to it, with the songs delving into reflection even as the arrangements have a bit of a celebratory quality to them. Over the course of the five songs, the EP possesses a live quality as the intimacy of the pieces gives them a lived-in, fully experienced quality.
Not a moment is wasted with the hyper-kinetic giddiness of “S.O.L”. A pure adrenaline rush, the tempo feels nearly out of control while they careen wildly. Easily the highlight of the EP, they at times touch upon Harlem at their unhinged garage rock best. Going for a bit more of a tender touch, the yearning “Japow” washes over the listener. Another highlight comes up with the slow-moving grooves of “No Way”. Elements of the Sea and Cake’s Bossa Nova inflected rock appear throughout as they embrace atmospherics to a great degree. Jagged edges introduce the jazzy “Fuego” with its constant breakdowns and buildups. Within the piece Shotski seem to map out an amusement park ride with its constant ups and downs. Effortlessly tying together all that came before it, the sprawling “Dropping” feels just right deserving to be played with perhaps a slightly larger dollops of volume.
In summary, Shotski embraces a beautiful blurred beauty with the gorgeous “Pipedream” EP.