My Bloody Valentine’s New Album Picks up Where Peerless “Loveless” Left Off.

130203-my-bloody-valentine-m-b-v-album-art-1-700x422You’d be forgiven for thinking that Kevin Shields and his band My Bloody Valentine were too cool for school. Had they sat down and plotted a course to garner as much press and attention as they could from the follow-up to their 1991 album Loveless, they couldn’t possibly have done a better job.

Since the surprise release of MBV last weekend, teenage boys in their 30s 40s have been panting breathlessly into every corner of the blogosphere in a frenzied fever pitch.

They didn’t of course. When My Bloody Valentine released that album 22 years ago, like every band before them, they did so in the certain knowledge that theirs would change the course of musical history.

lovelessOn this particular occasion however, they were right. Edge, to pick but one, has frequently – and generously – said, no Loveless, no Achtung Baby. So Shields and co found themselves under extraordinary pressure to produce a follow-up. Unsurprisingly they froze. And that mythical sequel became a thing of yore.

Until that is last weekend. When out of the blue, there it was. And to everyone’s amazement and immense relief, somehow, it doesn’t disappoint.

As the suitably impressed review from the boys from Pitchfork notes here, where it gets a regal 9.1, it’s an album divided into three triads.

The opening three tracks are very much as you were, and could easily have been set aside by the band in 1991 as hidden bonus tracks on Loveless. The next three are quieter, with the tiniest of nods to the digital universe and the ambient sounds that have arrived in the intervening decades.

It’s with the final three tracks that the album really digs in and gets its claws in. As ever, the trademark ethereal 4AD his and her vocals are buried beneath the industrial noise of guitars that have been fedback and endlessly treated.

tumblr_mdnyvvkJvA1rc22qso1_1280But all the beats that are usually muffled by the rhythmic drone of the digitally mastered distortion are let loose on the penultimate track, Nothing Is. The result is hypnotic.

And the album ends with Wonder 2, where everything gets fed into what seems to be a jet aeroplane as it prepares to take off. Yet somehow, it inexplicably remains forever grounded. It’s the sound of flight and at once of containment. And it’s thrilling.

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