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m b v

My Bloody Valentine: m b v

  • My Bloody Valntine
  • Alternative & IndieRock
  • Out now
  • Pickpocket
  • Everywhere
reviewed by
Haisam Awad
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My Bloody Valentine: m b v

Some
twenty-two years after releasing critically acclaimed sophomore album, Loveless (1991), alternative rockers, My
Bloody Valentine, have made a triumphant return to the musical arena to remind the
world that shoegazing – for lack of better pigeon-holing – is still very much
relevant in 2013.

In the mid-nineties,
amidst a purported lack of inspiration, an expensive flop of a self-built
studio and
chief shoegazer Kevin Shields’ Sid Barrett-style fade into madness, the
band split, leaving Shields to scrap for his craft via collaborations with the
likes of Primal Scream and Dinosaur Jr.

On the
brink of oblivion, the band magically reunited in 2007, announcing that an
unfinished album would be resurrected, before embarking on a series of gigs and
festival appearances. Said unfinished album became what we now call m b v.

Shoegazing
will forever be an irksome term, but no band has quite encapsulated its intangible
qualities as My Bloody Valentine has. The equally elusive group mark their
long-awaited re-arrival where they left off two decades ago; album opener, ‘she
found now’, brews with grand, but strikingly simple, guitar wails that invite
Shields’ floaty vocals to give the song its soul – it’s the type of sound
combination that makes everything around you turn slow-motion.  At just over five minutes in length, the end
of the song comes far too soon and any kind of hermetic state you’ve fallen under
is quickly swept away by ‘only tomorrow’ which sees fifty-one year old singer-guitarist,
Bilinda Butcher, round off what is a much grittier, but melodic, sound with
more high-flown vocals.

‘who sees
you’ continues in similar vein, before ‘is this and yes’ dives into an electronic
abyss
that sees the band incite sashayed  cries of anguish from a keyboard, only to be soothed by more of Butcher’s restful
vocals.

The second
half of m b v takes a turn for the erratic
and ecstatic; ‘if i am’ sees Butcher at her sultry best, inflaming images of
slow, bohemian dive-bar nights, before ‘new you’ ditches the long guitar riffs
for a much more clean-cut, bass-driven track.

Between
here and the end, the album doesn’t slow down or even wind down; if anything,
it winds up. The band throws everything at you in one last ditch effort, as if the
impending silence might signal the apocalypse – a fitting comparison: album
closer, ‘wonder 2’, is the perfect soundtrack to a decaying, crumbling world
that we are no longer deserving of. Butcher’s distorted vocals holler like
one last prayer.

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