Sunday, 28 May 2017

SLOWDIVE - SLOWDIVE (Dead Oceans LP, CD, Cassette, D/L).

There is always a concern with “iconic” bands reforming and after, no doubt lucratively, returning to their greatest moments deciding to record new material…………..the results aint always pretty. On the odd occasion it works, the chemistry and magic that originally made the band so great has remained, however going back into the studio can lead to tensions that split the band first time or simply the creative spark has gone. In the wake of the “Shoegaze revival” that has seen many early 90s bands reform, there was a massive commotion when it was announced that there was finally going to be follow up to MBV’s seminal Loveless album which soon died down once everyone twigged that it wasn’t actually very good, sounding like out-takes from the Loveless sessions and half formed ideas recorded sometime towards the end of the 90s. Since the Jesus And Mary Chain have reformed their records have been solid if not spectacular and we are hoping that the new Ride recordings are more Nowhere than Tarantula. After 22 years since the release of their last album, another classic Shoegaze band, Slowdive, have a new album in the record stores……………….and it’s absolutely brilliant!! Still sounding like Slowdive but with a modern reboot, their self titled fourth album is the sound of a band pushing forward and still relevant, not simply revisiting former glories. The new Slowdive LP can be seen as the next step following the more experimental and massively under rated Pygmalion album, although there is nothing quite as good as ‘Souvlaki Space Station’ (from the Souvlaki album) this is their strongest set of songs on one album the band have ever recorded.

Slowdive have gone and taken the whole Shoegaze genre by the scruff of the neck and dragged it into the future. Taking the epic ‘Rutti’ from the Pygmalion album as the “jumping back on” point and incorporating the more American Alt Rock influenced sound of Mojave 3 in their sonic pallet, Slowdive reflects the bands maturity as songwriters. Opening with the crystalline ‘Slomo’, it’s still classic Slowdive with dense layers of guitars and voices but there is a much more muscular spine to the ethereal swirl that they have always been known for……….‘Star Roving’, ‘Everyone Knows’ and the stunning ‘Go Get It’ are impressive modern Psych Rock songs, both tidal waves of immense, distorted guitars and thunderous drums, Slowdive have certainly “bulked up” during their time away. This is a seriously impressive record with tracks like ‘Don’t Know Why’, ‘Sugar For The Pill’ and ‘No Longer Making Time’ deep pools of sonic serenity and the album closes with the staggeringly beautiful ‘Falling Ashes’, Slowdive may, in some quarters, been accused of being soulless in the past but there is no way you could ever get that to stick with band who recorded this album. One of the essential records of 2017.

The self titled fourth Slowdive album is out NOW and in all good record shops, released by Dead Oceans, and available on vinyl, CD, limited edition cassette and as a download also from the label on line store and the Slowdive Bandcamp page here

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