Æ: Aglet Eaters

this is not a review: m b v

Posted in Feature by R on February 3, 2013


Three seconds in and I’m really angry with the new My Bloody Valentine record.

You don’t know why because I, surprisingly, did NOT immediately spit my angst out on twitter. I didn’t want to dampen everyone’s elevated spirits. The one tweet that did go out was:

Scott Walker‘ was the sole response, and immediately disqualified on the grounds of not actually being a band. The remaining angst (at all the hype) and disappointment (trending is the new selling out?) was sublimated into these two socially acceptable fellas:

The message that I was trying to politically correctedly squeeze out was that we’re all acting like MBV is the first raincloud we’ve seen after a 20 year drought, which seems grossly unfair to all those bands that have been working on keeping the sound and the scene alive in that time.

In any case, MBV is only the most severely replicated band we have. A newcomer to the scene could be forgiven for imagining the band is the embodiment of a generic shoegaze sound; that the style has no nuances or subtypes. MBV is shoegaze and is indistinguishable from Slowdive or The Telescopes. Why, anyone with a bit of fuzz on their guitar sounds like MBV, right?

Of course not. That’s a filler statement in a music review. It only holds true for a handful of bands. Secret Shine, the most blatant, Fleeting Joys, the most dedicated, and Ringo Deathstarr, the most successful.

It’s been twenty years, and I know I have moved on to more evolved forms of shoegaze. I get excited about a new Alcest album because I don’t know anyone else who can blend raging black metal guitars, with serene vocals, to create a landscape so vivid you can see it. I (would) get excited about a new [The] Slowest Runner [In All The World] album, because I’ve never known a sound like neo-classical warehouse post-rock. I get excited about The Radio Dept and Me You Us Them and A Place To Bury Strangers and even the Telescopes because I don’t have anyone else to turn to for a fix.

For 20 years, MBV has been all around me in the form of homages, rip-offs, and influencees.

Three seconds in, I was really angry with the new MBV record. I understood the excitement – maybe I felt it too? I understood there was only one MBV, and the sounds was irreproducible. I understood that the bands working in the interim were too many, too tiny to be able to compete. I understood I may be the only one who’d moved on to embrace Butterfly Explosion, Tears Run Rings, A Place To Bury Strangers, Airiel, Echodrone, Hammock, Amusement Parks on Fire, Highspire, God Is An Astronaut and countless more.

And in the midst of all this understanding, I realised the new MBV album means nothing to any of us if you think about what it would have meant to Danny.

Danny Lackey isn’t here for the release of m b v, but more than any of us he deserves to have heard it. Rather, it deserves to have been heard by him. So while you’re listening to m b v, take a moment, or 46 minutes and 29 seconds, and listen to it for Danny. Then go a step further and prove your dedication to the music, its makers, and the scene.


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