After a wait of 22 years, without much fanfare, comes the third My Bloody Valentine album.
My Bloody Valentine is an alternative rock band formed in Dublin in 1983. Since 1987, its lineup has consisted of Kevin Shields (vocals, guitar, sampler), with Bilinda Butcher (vocals, guitar), Colm Ó Cíosóig (drums, sampler) and Debbie Googe (bass). Their music is best known for its merging of dissonant guitar textures, androgynous vocals, and unorthodox production techniques. They helped to pioneer the alternative rock subgenre known as shoegaze during the late 1980s and early 1990s. (Wikipedia)
The first three songs on mbv – “She Found Now”, “Only Tomorrow” and “Who Sees You” – sound like the band have always been around (which is probably true, legacy-wise) with the noise-drenched indie pop fans have come to know and love. Then we get “If This & Yes” which sounds uncannily like a Beach Boys outtake from the mid-60s (or a High Llamas track – same difference), eschewing guitars for keyboards. From then on, the agenda is to subvert expectations somewhat with sonic explorations of a similar vein (“If I Am” and “A New You”) and foot firmly off the distortion pedals. The final trio of songs (“In Another Way”, “Nothing Is” and “Wonder 2”) get decidedly experimental in terms of guitar textures and rhythmic expression. All of which makes for an intriguing comeback and fairly worth the prolonged wait!