Scottish group My Bloody Valentine are a Shoegazing band who have been cited a major influence and pioneers of the genre which gets its name from the literal observation of gazing at ones shoes, a characteristic of the guitarists in the genre who would stare at their feet when playing. Having recently enjoyed some Shoegazing influences I felt compelled to check this album out after enjoying the opening and single track "Only Shallow".
The group have a low fidelity aesthetic, grungy guitars muddy there way through a wall of fuzzy distortion that consumes and blurs much of the instrumentation around them. Some strummed clean chords are slightly audible and the drumming is lost and buried under much of this hazy fuzz. The vocals the most captivating element, providing a gentle melody and relation through the noise of the guitars. With all that said the production and mixing is very inconsistent from track to track, with the opening drums having a clear and crisp yet slightly narrow sound to them, then in the next couple of tracks they are buried. The guitars also utilize the tremolo bar, distorting chords and pitch shifting them, giving them a sound like the audio had been recorded to old tape and stretched. Interesting at first, but becoming somewhat dull as the album progressed.
This album was a disappointment. Beyond the promise of the opening track the music failed to evoke much emotional response from me. The ideas and aesthetics from the opening track were quickly dulled as track after track meandered through low fidelity noise that didn't offer much in terms of imagination or progression. I understand and appreciate the influence a record like this can have, the experimentation with fidelity and aesthetics is interesting and captivating, however there was an apparent lack of substance behind these ideas as each song drifted by with no remarkable moments or much to talk about.
Favorite Tracks: Only Shallow, When You Sleep