Hopefully, there'll be a flurry of pieces from @lpgrp regulars appearing on this blog, celebrating a raft of great 2013 releases. First up, @brianwrose on My Bloody Valentine's m b v (4th in the @lpgrp year-end poll).
22 Years. Then out of the blue came the news.
February 2013 and its finally here. My Bloody Valentine announces a new album.
mbv, the band’s first since 1991’s Loveless. An album that many consider the band’s finest hour, so good it spawned a generation of future indie rock luminaries. The music press are teasing us with news that it’s just as good; in fact it’s better.
Please be right, please don’t disappoint, don’t tease me then deliver a
self-indulgent piece of garbage. Though hold on. I actually prefer their other remarkable work, Isn’t Anything.
I don’t want another Loveless.
I want Kevin Shields and co to defy me, challenge me. I want them to re-take the past and embrace the present.
I want, I want, I want, I want.
And on first listen they cook up all the best ingredients of their catalogue into a stew of such richness and diversity. I’m grinning from ear to ear barely a minute in.
From the opening track of she found now to the closing train journey pattern of wonder 2 the emotions are tested. My head feels like a punch-bag after the battering it takes from nothing is. Then there is the unadulterated joy of only tomorrow, which begs the question; why isn’t my postman whistling this?
However, above all the experimentation and manipulation of sound, one constant remains; the dialogue between Shields and Bilinda Butcher. The soft lilting vocals that are half buried underneath the organised chaos are so dreamlike that you wonder if you really did hear them or were you too taken in with beauty of it all. This comes to the fore in the track, if I am.
All the aspects I’ve come to love from the band are all here on this album; all familiar friends that transported me away from a shared bedroom in a tenement family flat in Edinburgh that may or may not have given the urge to travel, explore, discover.
I hear noise-pop, landscapes of imagination through wah-wah pedals; dreamy Cocteau Twins inspired vocals and layers of sound that transform with each listen.
Well worth the wait? Completely.
Better than the rest? Damn close but it just misses the vital ingredient that made Isn’t Anything their masterwork, a hook. If mbv had a Soft as Snow (But Warm Inside) then probably we’d have a winner. Then again 22 years hiatus and to comeback with this just goes to show you how gifted a band they truly are.