New My Bloody Valentine album m b v

5 02 2013

new my bloody valentine
So by now you may have heard of the new My Bloody Valentine album m b v – their first in 22 years since the epic Loveless. Needless to say shoegazers are quite excited and suitably relieved by Kevin Shields and Co’s latest montage of distortion and fuzzy vocals. I am on my second listen and I’m kind of in a state of disbelief.

Many forums are pontificating what effect m b v might have on the future of shoegaze. I don’t know. However, as an expert on most things, I’m willing to volunteer from my armchair that it has reinforced the prestige of shoegaze as a genre capable of producing unique sounds and a highly concentrated form of guitars/effects/distortion/layers, which in its simplest form is what you might hear on indie/alt rock radio stations.

The Horrors have been linking to the new MBV material from their Facebook page. Music newsletters that generally lend themselves to waxing lyrical about about festival lineups or their subsequent demise* are now at least including a footnote or some sort of tip o’ the hat to shoegaze. The Guardian recently curated a playlist of top 20 shoegaze tracks of all time. They did a pretty good job – all the usual suspects such as Swervedriver, Ride, Jesus and Mary Chain made an appearance.

So without further ado, here are my favourite picks from m b v.

Nothing is – the second last track on the album – without any preamble or provocation, starts off with a hissy fit of guitars and doesn’t run out of fuel until the very end. The immense wall of sound is stubborn and unwavering with its sped-up drums and no obvious or over the top theatrics. This is quite interesting because it allows for a lot of room to think and space-cadet off into a distance whilst still gushing out some seriously dense sound.

Only Tomorrow offers a unique interplay between Bilinda Butcher’s vocals and clangy, swirling guitar work. The song retains the signature My Bloody Valentine warmth as the guitars continue lumbering uphill whilst battling an onslaught of distortion only to return the listener safely back to Butcher’s voice. This song is unbelievable.

These are some of the pedals used by Shields in previous gigs. Safe to assume that the Sydney gig this month will be loud. Very loud. And I am going! Kevin Shields pedals

*Well that’s to be expected when you have sub optimal bands like Two Door Cinema Club and Mumford Sons headlining your festival.


The Horrors release a remixed version of their album SKYING called HIGHER

10 12 2012

The Horrors - Higher album art

So the Horrors – or shall I say Vince Noir’s sweethearts – have announced a deluxe boxed set of the remixed version of the singles and videos from their 2011 album SKYING. Appropriately titled, HIGHER is brimming with brilliant covers and reworkings by artists such as Andrew Weatherall, Peaking Lights, Connan Mockasin and more. Unfortunately I can’t pre-order this boxed set in this part of the world just yet but if you’re in Ingerland… fuck you.

I’m generally not a big fan of shoegaze remixes as I don’t like the idea of taking a perfectly distorted loud sound and morphing it into something plastic fantastic. However, HIGHER is true to The Horrors’ stunning original yet wildly distinct.

And there is some impressive thinking behind it:

“We were driving through the deserts of California when we hatched the plan to release a boxed set of the singles from Skying, unaware that it would balloon into the monster that it did. We started off small, just one version per single. However, through chance encounters and wanting to involve more people whose music excited us, the box soon grew into an impressive collection of sonic tapestries and hypnotic grooves and it became apparent that this was no longer about the singles. It was now about this new music which had used the different elements of Skying as a springboard to other ideas. We encouraged everyone involved to be as obtuse as possible, to get as far away from the original source material as they could. The results are stunning, and I think it’s just a shame we couldn’t have done more.”
Tom Furse, The Horrors

Suicide – Dream Baby Dream

7 11 2012


Interrupting my train of thought

1 07 2012

The brilliant original…

And the heavily Lovetone Meatball-filtered cover by My Bloody Valentine.

The Field Mice – If You Need Someone

20 05 2012

Twee as hell.

Twin Sister – I Want a House

9 05 2012

A favourite from 2010.


27 04 2012

Doves remind me of the time I used to get told off for having my hands in my pockets all the time.

Catch the Sun has to be my favourite Doves song.