When I first heard them, it was on the soundtrack of Lost In Translation. Because I found the movie sublime and the music haunting, naturally I had to discover more about this band.
The fact that they had released only 2 albums so far kind of put me off. That is until I started listening to their music.
I have never really understood why their music attracts me so much. The distortions, the wall of sound, the repetitions that have just a little bit of hallucinatory effect. Not really sure what. When I saw them live a few years ago, the whole experience was emotionally draining. The music was loud despite the ear plugs and each song an assault on all your senses. My friend actually made me walk out of there before the end of the show because she was feeling sick.
And now m b v has been released.
The moment I played the first song, it was like “Soon” had just ended on Loveless. The beginning “She Found Now”, “Only Tomorrow” and “Who Sees You” are an extension of the signature sound of the band. It’s quite curious to know that a lot of bands have come close to producing the My Bloody Valentine sound but none have achieved it. Even after 22 years! Anyway, upon hearing these songs I was thankful. The band is back and I did not have to break anything in frustration :)
The first three songs kind of lull the listener into thinking that this is another Loveless. Nope, this is where Shield’s changes direction. The next three songs are, surprisingly, pop oriented. One can actually “groove” to the music here. And just as the listener settles down to this new upbeat sound, Shield changes direction again.
This time to an aggressiveness that I have not seen from the band. The sound is largely repetitive (especially on “nothing is”) but unrelenting. I can just imagine being at a concert when this part of the album is played. People would be cringing and holding on to their ears for their dear life.
The album closer “wonder 2” is like being in a blender. Incoherent, no clue where the song is going and just like a blender is switched off to “calmness”, so does this song. It is not a closure like the one in Loveless with “Soon” but rather ends the album with a lack of cohesiveness that is endearing and can be a tad annoying.
But that encapsulates My Bloody Valentine’s music. It can also generate a loathing and disdain for the pop oriented crowd. But for a lucky few it can generate love and a fanaticism for the band that is rare these days.