Single Review – Slowdive – Star Roving 

Reading’s finest Shoegazers are back with their first new song in over two decades with ‘Star Roving’. Now signed on to Dead Oceans, vocalalist and guitarist Rachel Goswell confirmed that an album was in the works and this single is the first product of it. Stylistically, it’s their sound and it still rings out with an energy that dozens of young Shoegaze groups fail to pick up on. Shoegaze is a hazy and washed out style, but who told this generation that it was slow and indistinguishable from its constituent parts? This song has a driving rhythm which only highlights the quality of the delivery. Certainly nothing to set the world alight, but a pleasant blast from the past. 

Owen Riddle 

Single Review – Taffy – Dr. K

Taffy are an Indie Pop quartet from Tokyo and are a band fast gaining attention in the U.K after the release of their third studio album last year and have made a quick return with a new EP called Darkie. The Shoegaze influenced extended play has received a wealth of praise from the Guardian to BBC Radio 6 Music who named one of their new tracks; Dr. K as their track of the day. This track features the maintained waves of distortion that rise and fall according to the rapidity of the percussion. With light and sweet melodies of the vocals in isolation from the instrumentation, it results in a direct and succinct track. A different and more aggressive variant on the genre provided from their Russian counterparts Pinkshinyultrablast, but one just as enjoyable.

Pinkshyinyultrablast – Everything Else Matters Review

Pinkshinyultrablast
This is the face of Russian Shogaze at the moment. The nation and the genre may not seem like an obvious marriage, but Pinkshinyultrablast from St. Petersburg are certainly establishing the genre in Russia right now. Like most modern shoegaze bands their influences are no different from their French, British or US counterparts with My Bloody Valentine and The Cocetau Twins playing a big part in that regard. Can they bring a different perspective on the Shoegaze sound with their debut Everything Else Matters? They did say that “we realised the local indie scene was totally boring and wanted to play something radically different.” after all.
Their lead single ‘Umi’ opens with a siren-like guitar with rapid and tumbling percussion falling upon it. The bass comes in to string these two instrumentals together along with the sweeping, wistful vocals that glaze over the main body of music to give it a sense of balance and add to it’s potential space and atmospheric quality. This allows for the main body of music to fall in and out of this floating melodic ‘mist’ to only emphasise the rhythm and distant urgency of the instrumentals. A soft edged and fluid track. ‘Holy Forest’ features a loose and rotating riff that locks in the flashing synths that intercede it before launching into a distorted wash out with the echoed vocals and wiry synths taking over the songs direction. These are underpinned by the sharp percussion beneath if for true distorted affair flanked by moments of light guitar work.
‘Metamorphis’ features a wave of looped synth chords and vocal manipulations that slide off into a shoegaze wash of distortion and crashing percussion which itself fades off into a stripped back instrumental of an isolated bass line and a wistful, echoed vocal. These instrumentals are ushered in by simple percussive elements back into the washed out, firework display of a sound. ‘Land’s End’ offers up a similar approach musically with the isolated guitars and percussion being glazed over by floating and fluid electronica and vocal sweeps. ‘Marigold’ is the eight minute shoegaze anthem (for want of a better word) that finishes off the short album. The ringing guitars are switched back and forth to the tradition distorted washes and the vocal is almost haunting to the track throughout. This washed out sound reaches a peak and leaks out a more expansive and drawn out sound from the guitars and alternates in this fashion to more rougher and sharper guitars too. The album is pretty faithful to the shoegaze genre but does gently formulate some of it’s own sounds and idea in amongst the traditional elements that they deliver better than most modern shoegaze bands. For a debut album it’s something that should receive a fair amount of admiration but there are greater things to come for sure.
Pinkshinyultrablast – Everything Else Matters = 8/10

Single Review – Pinkshinyultrablast – Umi

‘Umi’ is the first single to be released from Pinkshinyultrablast’s upcoming studio album Everything Else Matters which is to be released in January by the St. Petersburg shoegaze band. The band and their music was born out of the stagnant music scene in the city saying that “we realised the local indie scene was totally boring and wanted to play something radically different.” The single opens with a siren-like guitar with rapid and tumbling percussion falling upon it. The bass comes in to string these two instrumentals together along with the sweeping, wistful vocals that glaze over the main body of music to give it a sense of balance and add to it’s potential space and atmospheric quality. This allows for the main body of music to fall in and out of this floating melodic ‘mist’ to only emphasise the rhythm and distant urgency of the instrumentals. A soft edged and fluid track that is available on November 10th.

Free Download -TOWNS – Too Tired

TOWNS are a Bristolian band on Howling Owl Records and ply a trade on shoegaze tinged 60’s and 90’s melodies which could generate a real interesting and intriguing concept. Their debut album Get By should be a pretty sound test of this and it’s out on June 2nd. To give a taste of what to expect, they have released album track ‘Too Tired’ as a free download and it’s reflective of that shoegaze sound tied up with classic rock melodies and rhythms. The track opens with guitars soaked with distortion and modulation and this creates a unconventional yet flowing rhythm that maintains a constant sonic charge for the song as it it’s sound expands upon itself and is anchored down more by the percussion. The vocals can often become drowned out by this close up sound that should usually be expansive, however it is light and airy enough set itself apart from the music initially by the echo allows it to be absorbed by the prominent guitar sound along with its effects. The song certainly deals with the combination of sounds well through a subtle yet noticeable body of instrumentals and the track is a one of the best free downloads around and leaves potential for the album which should be worth a look.

https://soundcloud.com/townsmusic/6-too-tired 

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