Tomorrow finally hit. The most highly awaited record since Smile actually exists and legions of fans must face the disappointment that it will inevitably bring. 21 years 2 months and 29 days is a long time to wait and want something that badly.
For the most part MBV sounds like it was recorded between 1993-94. The main elements of their sound are present and correct, tracks of fuzz guitar and bass, overdubbed tremolo lead guitar, layers of acoustic guitar overdubs, drum machine, flanged and phased guitar, the occasional synth string line and farfisa organ, muzzy vocals layered into a sirens call.
Throughout the record there’s a sense of something amiss. The sound is as immaculately wasted as ever but what is lacking are the tunes. The key point about My Bloody Valentine first time around was that they were a twee jangly c86 indie boy/girl band singing cute pop songs who had somehow got into bed with The Jesus and Mary Chain of Psychocandy and taken that sound even further out.
The pill of poisonous noise was crucially sweetened by the dreamy girl group pop song structure that it overlaid. Take away the pop and it undermines the thrill of the sonic overload constantly bearing down which is trying to steal away the song in another direction.
There are pop songs on the album, most notably across the middle third of the album, but they meander and lack resolution.
The big tease is left until the final track ‘Wonder 2’ when the ghost of the Jungle Album My Bloody Valentine were reputedly working on in 1994-95 is glimpsed. Over an amen break, a guitar maelstrom is unleashed and the world goes wonky. Had My Bloody Valentine put out a whole album like this in 1995 serious indie dancefloor damage would have ensued and big beat might never have happened.
There’s a bitter sweet sense of regret tied up with this record, for the lost futures, paths never taken, a terrible nostalgia for the utopian idealism glimpsed in the late eighties/ early nineties upsurge of drug culture lost in the inevitable confused comedown post Criminal Justice Act and only time will tell whether this will work in it’s favour in the long term.
Not expecting the second coming I’m just glad they’re back.
by Garry Todd