You may have heard that My Bloody Valentine’s rumored new album broke the internet on Saturday. In fact, announcing the arrival on Facebook while the website was down seemed like more patience games from frontman Kevin Shields. Fans can now listen to the album on YouTube, as well as buy it as a download, CD, and vinyl.
Will it top Loveless, proclaimed by music critics, artists and fans alike as one of the best albums ever made?
The start of the new album belongs in the next Sofia Coppola film. Hints of bent chords from the Fender Stratocaster tremelo arm gently lift She Found Now while frontman Kevin Shields coos his lullaby. Not the triumphant start that Only Shallow gave Loveless, but unmistakably MBV.
Cinematically evocative, several tracks belong in a post-apocalyptic road trip movie–bittersweet and warm, evidence that Shields didn’t actually scrap the Loveless follow up. Who Sees You features classic, distorted chord progressions that smack of all the nu-gaze imitators from the mid 90s and beyond–a sonic reminder that ’alternative’ music left them behind in favor of screamo, punky pop.
Before Spotify and Pandora, music fans relied on the RIYL factor in music magazines like CMJ and Alternative Press. Stereolab would sometimes get thrown in to the My Bloody Valentine oeuvre–a distant relative at best. However, Is This And Yes recalls Mars Audiac Quintet’s somber, hypnotic moog-iness digitally pulsing through outer space.
The tail end of the album is more aggressive: Nothing Is features rockabilly hypnosis in an industrial drumbeat, speeding past the staccato chaos of MBV’s Isn’t Anything into a more steady tribal mantra like some Animal Collective or Primal Scream’s XTRMNTR. This is Glider’s dirtier, hypnotic successor, and a great workout track.
As with Loveless, they saved the best for last: Wonder 2 sequences planes screeching across the sky while tremelo guitars circle the male/female vocals. Drum ’n bass beats flit like hummingbirds, unable to fly through the wall of sound that made My Bloody Valentine so famous.