Monday, 25 January 2010

My Bloody Valentine
Creation Records
Rating: 4/5

Ok, so I was pretty close to knocking this down to 3/5. Why? Because yes, it's a landmark record: along with Psychocandy by the Jesus and Mary Chain it practically invented shoegazing proper, but the songs aren't always consistent, and let's be honest there are some shit tracks on there. In terms of influence, of course it's a five, and there are some incredible tracks there- 'When You Sleep', 'Come in Alone' and 'I Only Said' still to this day blow my mind when I listen to them. At the same time, however, there are a number of songs I don't care for, either because they strike me as unmelodic, or because they bring little new to the table.

Sonic Youth had already been prominently doing the unmelodic wall of noise for some time before Loveless, so tracks like 'What You Want' and 'Loomer' are uninspiring and a little underwhelming when compared with, say, the utter sonic annihilation that is 'Only Shallow', undoubtedly one of the best songs EVER written. 'Touched' is just frankly a crock of shit, and should not have made the album. 'Sometimes' meanwhile enjoys a frankly bizarre cult status, when to me it's winding, overly long and not that interesting.

So much has been said about this band over the years that I won't burden myself by writing at too great a length, suffice to say that they have become like Sonic Youth; a band that those not in the know namedrop to sound cool. Sad as that is, it necessitates a re-evaluation of this album on the merits of its individual songs. Luckily, between 'Only Shallow', 'To Here Knows When' and 'Blown a Wish' this album is still jaw-dropping enough to warrant its reputation. Turn up your stereo and play 'Only Shallow' and just try, no dare to tell me that shit isn't insane.

Because, as the singer/guitarist in my first band once said to a crowd at a gig, "what we lack in talent we make up for with volume and aggression". Clearly a lesson learned by MBV many years before I was even born.

P.S. Look at how many amps Kevin Shields is using!

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