one of my absolute favourite bands of all times are called Mineral. they were known for their brooding song structures, crying guitars and off-key vocals. that per se doesn’t sound very original nor special – and in many ways Mineral were neither. but nonetheless, they created some truly spectacular moments with their songs. to this day, I can put on *any* Mineral song, and it’s like musical magic to me. they were four boys. neither of which were probably overwhelmingly talented or lucky. but together, they created something incredible. they created Mineral. though primarily inspired by bands such as Catherine Wheel, Sugar and The Smashing Pumpkins, the end result sounded just as much as being inspired by Moss Icon, Indian Summer and Christie Front Drive. they ended up being immensely influential post-breakup, and post-breakup is where Pretty The Quick Black Eyes come into the picture. there are a slew of post-Mineral bands, all of which amazing, that I won’t go into here. here I’ll talk about just one of them – Pretty The Quick Black Eyes with Scott McGarver from Mineral on vocals and guitars. Scott is easily the centre of attention, with wailing guitars and introspective vocals, but that’s not to say that the rest of the band is left completely in the shadow. the tone-setting keyboards, momentous drums and melodic bass all contribute to create a very unique sound, perhaps best described as The Cure’s Disintegration meets Mineral’s EndSerenading. but having it described, however skilfully, isn’t anywhere near experiencing it for yourself. you need to experience Pretty The Quick Black Eyes, who by the way unfortunately only put out this EP. imagine seeing them with The Gloria Record in 2002. wow. anyway, as I was saying, GET THIS.
archive for the ‘shoegaze/dream’ category
if shoegaze/noise (rock/emo sounds like a nice hybrid, chances of you liking this are high. if not, hmm… check it out anyway. this is some delicious lo-fi stuff that washes over you with valour. completely different, utterly compelling. this is only three songs and ten minutes, but in that time The Uptights manage giving us a well-rounded experience. there are twinkly guitars, rough noise parts, an ambient track, jangly vocals, non-jangly vocals, and overall a right mess. but it’s a consistent mess. the mess belongs together. OH, THE MESS. check this out if you like lo-fi messes.
I hope you liked the band in Heaven, because here’s some more the band in Heaven! this time around it’s a split with Weird Wives, another great set of shoegazers. the bands contribute with two songs each. you should already be familiar with the band in Heaven and their BritPop with many dashes of noise and feedback on top. Weird Wives are quite different, but they still fit in nicely on this split with their more psychedelic and dark sound. for some reason it reminds me of Joy Division and Nick Cave, with some deathrock-leanings. far more bleak than the band in Heaven, but just as good. together these two bands make a highly interesting couple. it’s kind of like Sigur Rós’s (), on which side A was optimistic and side B was pessimistic. I have no idea if the band in Heaven intend to be bright, nor if Weird Wives re attempting to make dark music. but that’s how it comes across to me. check this out and make up your own opinion!
what would the minimalism of Can and The Velvet Underground sound like it had 100dB gain and lots and lots of feedback and distortion? you’re about to find out, thanks to Orlando, Florida’s the band in Heaven. this is by all means shoegaze. however, it is noticeably minimalist – or even simplistic. there’s essentially cosy pop rock chord progressions, pretty vocals, etc. something tells me that if you remove the feedback and noise, you’d get a BritPop band, influenced by the mentioned bands. so that makes this… The La’s playing The Velvet Underground, with a bunch of noise and feedback on top? maybe. something like that. in any event, it makes this awesome. cosy and pretty pop songs with a fuckload of noise and feedback. just how I like my pretty pop songs. get this! and by the way, you can buy FLAC or whatever at http://thebandinheaven.bandcamp.com/
do you remember lover? I sure do. weird minimalist ambient noise shoegaze stuff that has you at all times contemplating whether to bob your head in appreciation or scratch it in confusion. (you can do both, but that would be weird.) this album carries the tradition on, with even a little techno thing going for it. (though calling this a “techno” album would be an extremely far stretch.) a great portion of this is instrumental, but there’s also some tracks with vocals. those are the more shoegaze-y ones with guitars dominating melody, whilst being almost being repressed by the banging bass beat, and on top of that you have blip blops and then of course the vocals are in there somewhere. this record is bass-heavy and noisy. but pleasant nonetheless. some of the riffs are even just melodic and catchy! add to this the fantastic atmospheric value, and you’ve got yourself a highly interested listen. I would go as far as saying that this is even better than death stay awake. the absolutely beautiful “FACEKEEPER” perhaps steals the main portion of the glory, with a guitar that simply carves into your heart and spine at the same time, which is quite the impressive accomplishment given this album being in mono. get this!
from Portland, Oregon we get the four man shoegaze band Anne. the guitars and synth clash into a massive sound, and vocals that blend into the soundscape beautifully, you get a sort of Joy Division meets Whirl sound. at times it is downbeat and melancholic – but not to the extent of Joy Division, and at times it is upbeat and optimistic-sounding. give this a go if you’re into well-crafted and catchy shoegaze. each and every song has its great pop hook.
Sealings are an extremely loud and noisy punk rock band, much like Retainers. this English duo has wailing guitar solos, punchy drums and subdued vocals. and in this 8:47 thrasher of a tape, shoegaze meets raw punk rock like never before. this is distorted beyond recognition, yet melodic and pretty at the same time. Sealings have an original and enticing sound that needs to be heard. get in touch with the band at from http://www.myspace.com/sealings – where there’s also links to purchase their stuff. the password of the .rar file is “sealingull”. enjoy.
lover is made up of a guy who used to be in When I Came Back from Death. this sounds absolutely nothing like When I Came Back from Death at all. it is completely different in every way possible. this release consists of three very different tracks. the first one has a stripped down minimalist space ambient sound. the second one has a far more accessible upbeat acoustic guitar with screamed vocals type of thing going on. the third one sort of blends the two close to polar opposites, and introduces us to a heavily textured shoegaze sound, with synth, guitars, vocals and even drums. it is the most “happening” song on the death stays awake, and in my opinion also the best one. so what you essentially get if you download this is three largely different tracks of experimental ambient/shoegaze music. it’s not for everyone… but it might be for you! download this.
Rudi Simmons is back with dirty lyrics and catchy melodies. and this time it’s even more folky. the sound is more sparse, focusing on a cracked voice, an acoustic guitar, drums and the occasional twinkle. but most of the record revolve around the narrative, clever lyrics. this does however not equal shit music! the music is definitely not elevator muzak. it’s mainly focused and concise folk rock with harmonic and concentrated chord progressions. there are deviations though, most notably the bluesy fifth track that’s way more wild than the rest of the record.
anyone familiar with Fighterpilot or Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson should understand me when I say that this is progressive rock with a touch of ambient from How Is Annie Records. but Safethouses on Fire are not as ambient as Fighterpilot, nor as emo as YP. it has its own, very atmospheric style. the songs flow beautifully, and really dig into your brain, refusing to let go of it. you might be puzzled by this wonderful journey. and you will certainly have to listen to it several times to really fathom all its complex layers, due to the sheer amount of layers. this is deep and wild music. get into it. if you really like it, you can buy it from http://www.howisannierecords.com – which I highly recommend you to. if this is a dream, don’t let it end.