Wednesday, 25 November 2020

My Bloody Valentine

Post 900. It's been almost two years since 800, and despite my inactivity we made it through another 100. Thus, another milestone band is required to honour this. Not only that, but 900 posts means we are obligated to make it to 1000, which will hopefully not take another two years to get to. As always, thanks to anyone still sticking around after all these years, this band probably doesn't need any introduction but we'll do a quick one anyway. Enjoy.

My Bloody Valentine are a four-piece band from Dublin, Ireland that began in 1983. They are best known for creating the template for shoegaze, a genre marked by heavy distortion, reverb, glide guitar, and quiet, low-in-the-mix vocals. This is mostly credited to the release of their seminal 1991 album Loveless, an absolute classic and landmark album that has proved to be infinitely influential to this date. This is not to discredit their work prior and after it, which we'll get into into now.

MBV (as they shall be known henceforth) was started by guitarist/vocalist Kevin Shields and drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig, who would both remain consistent members of the band. They were joined by a revolving door of band members early on, with the other notable one being vocalist David Conway, who appeared on their first few releases. Their early sound was a mix of post-punk and gothic rock, with a clear nod to the punk rock sound they had played in bands prior to this one. Bassist Debbie Googe joined in 1985, and became an essential member to this day.


They quickly evolved and started playing with a jangly twee/dream pop sound, especially around the release of Strawberry Wine and Ecstasy. These were the first releases to feature Conway's replacement, new guitarist/vocalist Bilinda Butcher, whose hushed vocals and added guitar layer became instrumental in defining MBV's classic sound. Under the influence of The Jesus and Mary Chain, who had recently released their own landmark albums Psychocandy and Darklands, MBV's final form began to take shape. With their line-up solidified, they began crafting pop songs buried beneath guitars lathered in effects and feedback. They also started incorporating their seminal "glide guitar" technique (bending the whammy bar as a chord is strummed). 1988 brought both the You Made Me Realise EP and their debut LP Isn't Anything, both absolute essentials to their discography. Though it can be overshadowed by the monolith of Loveless, their debut is still an absolute staple in the development of shoegaze, with some of their best songs on it that blur the line between pop and experimental music.


The Glider and Tremolo EP's were released in 1990 and 1991 respectively, and can be seen as stepping stones to the finished product of Loveless, even including songs that would later appear on the LP. The sound they have become renowned for clearly takes shape here, with the reverb and distortion being turned up, and the vocal mix being turned down. Finally, after a relentless two-year recording process that allegedly nearly bankrupt their label, Loveless was released on November 4, 1991. There aren't many genres that have an undisputed crown jewel the way that shoegaze has Loveless. That's not to discount albums like Slowdive's Souvlaki or Ride's Nowhere, which are incredible in their own right. It's just that no other album has quite captured the same fervor and legacy that MBV's sophomore release did. I could go on about the heavenly euphoria this album exudes, how listening to it feels like being wrapped up in a warm dream, its cosmic elation of euphoria, its auditory perfection, etc. It's been told a thousand times with a thousand metaphors. It's an experience to say the least, and an album I find myself returning to time and time again just to submerge myself in its 50 minutes of bliss. There is not a misstep on it, and its critical praise and fan regard is every bit deserved.


Following the release and tour of Loveless, the band signed to Island Records to work on their follow-up. Despite multiple recording sessions, that material was all scrapped. By 1997, MBV had virtually dissolved, with Cíosóig and Googe leaving the band, and Shields becoming somewhat of a recluse (though he did contribute to the soundtrack of Lost in Translation). In 2008, the core four members reunited and began touring again. In 2012, their two LP's were remastered and re-released, along with a compilation that included all their EP's from their Creation Records years, in addition to other previously released and unreleased tracks from that era. A year later, 22 years since Loveless, they released their long-awaited follow-up album, m b v. This consisted of some material recorded prior to their breakup in 1997, as well as new material from as early as 2006. Despite the huge gaps in time during its recording, this album flows flawlessly. The band did the unthinkable and culled together an album that served to further their legacy as titans of their genre. with another one of the best releases in its respective decade. Since then they have been fairly quiet, with talk of a fourth album coming up. Considering their release history, I wouldn't get my hopes up for it until at least 2035, but we'll see. 

MBV are without a doubt one of the most essential bands ever posted, so I do hope you find something to take away from here. As I said previously, they are a massively well-known and popular band so most people are more than likely already familiar with them. If you are, I encourage you to continue revisiting them (especially their earlier work, which is often overlooked). For the few that might not be, I implore you to give them a listen. Again, thanks for numero 900, and I'll see you at 1000.

1. Forever And Again
2. Homelovin' Guy
3. Don't Cramp My Style
4. Tiger In My Tank
5. The Love Gang
6. Inferno
7. The Last Supper

1. Scavengers
2. The Devil Made Me Do It
3. The Love Gang
4. Inferno
5. The Man You Love To Hate
6. Homelovin' Guy
7. A Town Called Bastard
8. Tiger In My Tank

1. No Place To Go
2. Moonlight
3. Love Machine
4. The Sandman Never Sleeps

1. Lovelee Sweet Darlene
2. By The Danger In Your Eyes
3. On Another Rainy Saturday
4. We're So Beautiful

1. Sunny Sundae Smile
2. Paint A Rainbow
3. Kiss The Eclipse
4. Sylvie's Head

Ecstasy (1987)
1. She Loves You No Less
2. The Things I Miss
3. I Don't Need You
4. (You're) Safe In Your Sleep (From This Girl)
5. Clair
6.You've Got Nothing
7. (Please) Lose Yourself In Me
 
1. Strawberry Wine
2. Never Say Goodbye
3. Can I Touch You

1. You Made Me Realise
2. Slow
3. Thorn
4. Cigarette In Your Bed
5. Drive It All Over Me

1. Feed Me With Your Kiss
2. I Believe
3. Emptiness Inside
4. I Need No Trust

1. Soft As Snow (But Warm Inside)
2. Lose My Breath
3. Cupid Come
4. (When You Wake) You're Still In A Dream
5. No More Sorry
6. All I Need
7. Feed Me With Your Kiss
8. Sueisfine
9. Several Girls Galore
10. You Never Should
11. Nothing Much To Lose
12. I Can See It (But I Can't Feel It)

1. Strawberry Wine
2. Never Say Goodbye
3. Can I Touch You
4. She Loves You No Less
5. The Things I Miss
6. I Don't Need You
7. (You're) Safe In Your Sleep (From This Girl)
8. Clair
9. You've Got Nothing
10. (Please) Lose Yourself In Me

1. Soon
2. Glider
3. Don't Ask Why
4. Off Your Face

1. To Here Knows When
2. Swallow
3. Honey Power
4. Moon Song

1. Only Shallow
2. Loomer
3. Touched
4. To Here Knows When
5. When You Sleep
6. I Only Said
7. Come In Alone
8. Sometimes
9. Blown a Wish
10. What You Want
11. Soon

Disc 1
1. You Made Me Realise
2. Slow
3. Thorn
4. Cigarette In Your Bed
5. Drive It All Over Me
6. Feed Me With Your Kiss
7. I Believe
8. Emptiness Inside
9. I Need No Trust
10. Soon
11. Glider
12. Don't Ask Why
13. Off Your Face

Disc 2
1. To Here Knows When
2. Swallow
3. Honey Power
4. Moon Song
5. Instrumental No. 2
6. Instrumental No. 1
7. Glider
8. Sugar
9. Angel
10. Good For You
11. How Do You Do It

1. She Found Now
2. Only Tomorrow
3. Who Sees You
4. Is This and Yes
5. If I Am
6. New You
7. In Another Way
8. Nothing Is
9. Wonder 2

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Nø Man


Nø Man are a four-piece hardcore band from Washington, DC that started in 2017. The band consists of all three members of the legendary screamo band Majority Rule, with a new vocalist added to the line-up. Sonically, Nø Man are semi-comparable to more recent noisy hardcore bands such as Punch, Gouge Away and Birds in Row, in addition to classics such as pg.99. Thus far, they've put out 2 LP's and a single, with their most recent full-length, Erase being one of 2020's best hardcore offerings. It's dark, aggressive, and has a palpable urgency to it, with some intense instrumentals and a scorching vocal delivery. Enjoy.


1. Hang Up
2. Devils Cast Long Shadows
3. Stop Talking
4. Man + Wife
5. Time Stopped
6. Tunnel Vision
7. Keep It Up
8. Red Tape

1. Cut Out

1. Dive
2. SOS
3. Tune In
4. Secret
5. Shots Fired
6. Cut Out
7. Golden Son
8. Pray

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Autoclave

Autoclave were a four-piece indie rock/math rock band from Washington, DC that were briefly around from 1990 to 1991. In that time, they released a 7" as a joint venture between Dischord and K Records. This was followed by a posthumous 10". Their discography was compiled and released by Dischord in 1997, which included a compilation track previously released. Despite their brief tenure, their legacy has been long-lasting. Sonically, they're considered an early example of math rock. Expanding on their punk roots, the utilized off-kilter rhythms, odd time signatures, angular chords and unconventional song structures. In addition, they are notable for their members later involvement in other projects. Guitarist Mary Timony began Helium after Autoclave, and more recently has been active in Wild Flag and Ex Hex. Christina Billotte started Slant 6 after, which were another Dischord band. She also later played in Quix*o*tic. Enjoy.

1. Dr. Seuss
2. Still Here
3. Hot Spurr
4. It's Not Real Life
5. Vision
6. I'll Take You Down
7. Go Far
8. Bulls Eye
9. Summer
10. Paper Boy
11. I'll Take You Down (Version)

The Fall Of Boss Koala

The Fall Of Boss Koala were a five-piece screamo band from Dundee, Scotland that were around from 2002 to 2006. They took slight influence from post-rock in their sound, with the drawn out song lengths, shifting dynamics, and tremolo picked guitars. This draws the obvious Envy comparison, but I think fans of bands like Saetia, You And I, and even Alexisonfire would dig this too. They only put out two EP's, with Reference Points being the definite standout. Side note, I have no idea if the artwork for both EP's here is official or not, but it's all I could find so we're going with it. Enjoy.

1. Patrick Viera
2. Donkey Vs Missle
3. The Dede Song (10 Years In Jail)
4. Saigon Is City
5. Malchek

1. No, Everything's Not Alright
2. I Love My Dead Gay Son (Part 1)
3. I Love My Dead Gay Son (Part 2)
4. End Of The World

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde were a five-piece screamo band from Glasgow, Scotland that began in 2004 and ended in 2009. They put out one LP, an EP, a demo, and one compilation track in their few years together. This was all compiled into a single discography release back in 2016. That discography release is a must-grab, but I included the individual releases (minus the compilation track) if you're interested. Sonically, they are comparable to other post-rock/screamo blended bands, such as Envy, City of Caterpillar, and Sed Non Satiata. Their dual vocal delivery is also a distinct characteristic, with the vocals alternating between layered and call-and-response screams. Without a doubt they aree on of the most essential screamo acts of their decade, so I highly recommended checking this out ASAP if it sounds up your alley. Members of Mesa Verde now play in Old Guard. Enjoy.

1. Any Excuse For A Waste
2. Church Gambler
3. Aim.Method
4. Twice As Fucked In Half The Time

1. Clarity With Distance
2. Substance Abuse
3. MRB
4. Dance Dance Dance

1. A Deep Sleep Without Dreams
2. For The Tree That Fell
3. When The Canary Dies, Run Like Fuck
4. Return To Victories
5. No More Bad Future
6. Post-Youth

Discography; 2004-2009 (2016)
1. A Deep Sleep Without Dreams
2. For The Tree That Fell
3. When The Canary Dies, Run Like Fuck
4. Return To Victories
5. No More Bad Future
6. Post-Youth
7. In '64
8. Clarity With Distance
9. Substance Abuse
10. Untitled
11. MRB
12. Dance Dance Dance
13. Any Excuse For A Waste
14. Church Gambler
15. Aim.Method
16. Twice As Fucked (In Half The Time)

Stay Inside

Stay Inside are a four-piece post-hardcore band from Brooklyn, New York that began in 2016. After a few releases, they dropped their debut full-length earlier this year via No Sleep Records. Viewing is a heavy record, in terms of potency emotional weight. It's a record that exudes catharsis, with a natural and genuine delivery. Sonically, they can be loosely compared to bands such as Balance and Composure, Have Mercy, and Daisyhead. It keeps its sound fresh and varied, from the mewithoutYou-influenced opener "Revisionist" to the sombre exit music of "Leave". In between is a slew of dynamic shifts, from quiet arpeggios to screamo-ridden peaks (with "Veil" being a notable highlight). Outside of their LP, they've also released two fantastic splits with other great bands, Dad Thighs and Good Looking Friends, so be sure to check those out as well. Enjoy.

1. Advice From A Caterpillar
2. Reconstruction
3. (fishtank)
4. Fever and Jealousy
5. Your Guardsmen Swarm Like Locusts
6. We Look On In Echoes

1. Good Looking Friends - The Rope
2. Good Looking Friends - Bodega Cat
3. Stay Inside - FOIA
4. Stay Inside/Good Looking Friends - Testimonial
5. Stay Inside - The Fall

1. Offseason

1. Dad Thighs - iwrotehaikusabouttheladsinyouryearbook
2. Great Weights - 490
3. Stay Inside - Puritans

1. Revisionist
2. Void
3. Ivy
4. Monuments
5. Silt
6. Divide
7. Wake
8. Veil
9. Verdict
10. Leave

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Record Setter

Record Setter are a four-piece screamo/emo band from Denton, Texas that began in 2011. After a few sporadic releases, they released I Owe You Nothing this month via Topshelf Records. This is an absolute statement of a record, with powerful performances and a literally seamless delivery. Each track flows effortlessly into the next, making for one unforgettable, singular experience. Sonically, I don't think I've ever heard a record that appeals to virtually every niche this blog thrives in.. It's even hard to nail down particular elements of this, as every turn is another resounding "fuck yes", with something fresh and unequivocally unique. Instead of just rambling here, I highly, highly suggest you check this out. Without a doubt this is one of the best records I've heard this year, and an absolute listen for anyone fans of anything screamo-adjacent. Enjoy.

1. Dim Lit Streets
2. Rentative
3. Two Transitions
4. Sleep
5. Oil and Water
6. Down To Earth
7. The Road
8. Wild Card

1. A Realization
2. Wishing Your Life Away
3. We Let Our Youth Fail Beautifully
4. Multiple Attempts At The Same Thing
5. Losing Hope
6. Talking To Yourself Shouldn't Be An Argument
7. Purge
8. If You've Ever Wondered

1. Sylvania Ave. - A Different Point Of View
2. Sylvania Ave. - When You Tried To
3. Genius Christ - Mind Sweeper
4. Genius Christ - Merchant of Doubt
5. Record Setter - Self Of Steam
6. Record Setter - Is This Existing

1. Someplace
2. Sometimes
3. Humus
4. Present Tense
5. A Portrayal
6. An Impression
7. An Explanation
8. Rigor Mortis
9. Reprise
10. Future Tense
11. Fail And Fall

Donor

Donor were a five-piece emo/indie/punk band from Orlando, Florida that began in 2013. They were a project created by members of Dikembe, You Blew It!, You'll Live, and Crucial Dudes, all fantastic bands in their own right. They came together for one four-track EP, which was released in 2013. They haven't shown any signs of activity since 2015, so it's safe to say this is the one and only we will get. It's a solid release, and sort of what you'd get when a midwest emo band kicks on the overdrive for a pop punk tinge. Enjoy.

1.Bitt Will Fit
2. Everything Feels Illegal
3. Katy Perry, Please
4. Pool Dad

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Enfold

Enfold were a five-piece hardcore/screamo band from Bielefeld, Germany that were around from 1995 to 2000 (approximately). Besides that, the only info I could find on them was that they shared a member with 125, Rue Montmartre. There's also a fantastic live set from them on YouTube from unARTigNYC if you're interested here. Sonically, they're comparable to bands such as Swing Kids and Angel Hair. Enjoy.

1. Damnation...
2. Drown The Need
3. Sounds And Silence
4. Burst

1. 20th
2. Damnation
3. Riots
4. Oak
5. Routine

1. Enfold - Comfort
2. Enfold - Run Down
3. Enfold - On First Hand Down
4. June's Tragic Drive - Good-Bye January
5. June's Tragic Drive - Sunday Evening Thoughts

1. Enfold - Free For Fire
2. Enfold - Conscience
3. Enfold - Tradition
4. Linsay - Carousel
5. Linsay - Just For You

1. Dante's Forgotten
2. Feuron
3. Temper
4. Interlude #1
5. Mimesis
6. Untitled Film Still
7. Interlude #2
8. Plastic Suit
9. Interlude #3
10. Quiet Life
11. No Coming Home
12. Permanent Landscape
13. Serious Place
14. Interlude #4