Ian Kehoe could cough and a charming song would fly out. It’s clear he was biding his time in Attack In Black, rather than paying his dues (this likely marks the official end of the Welland, Ontario quartet, considering press releases are referring to Kehoe and his bandmates—all of which play on this album; it was recorded in Daniel Romano’s home studio—as “former” Attack In Black members).
Kehoe’s first record as Marine Dreams is considerable proof that all you need to make a lasting album is a friend to keep time, a booklet of clever lyrics that repeatedly mention the sun—dig it: “The sun can only shine/on half of me at one time”—and one slick guitar progression per song. These are ten tracks you’ll have a hard time wearing out; they voyage from the ’60s to the mid ’90s and back again, freely moving between jangle pop and crunchy, psychedelic swirl while paying homage to The Lovin’ Spoonful, Guided By Voices, Chad VanGaalen and occasionally Attack In Black.
Hone in on the album’s latter third for some weirdo deviations that see Kehoe abandon his day-to-day-life musings in favour of otherworldly trips—“It won’t be long now, Ma, until the astral fires come to light the visions of your giant heart”—that launch into mind-bending overdrive, reverb, and haze.
Thirty minutes well spent. Check out the video for the song “Marine Dreams” down below.