One of my highlights of 2012 was the release of the long overdue My Bloody Valentine re-issues / remasters. To finally hear the collective works of one of my favourite bands ever cleaned up and digitally enhanced had been a dream for as long as I’ve been a fan. The results are pure heaven and to have the lush dreamy landscapes of “Isn’t Anything,” “Loveless” and the EPs finally sailing into my ears in high fidelity makes me very happy indeed, but I’m repeating myself so I think it is time to dive into what makes these reissues so special.
If you are a stranger to My Bloody Valentine let me pitch you their sound with a few easy descriptions. My Bloody Valentine is responsible for the whole “shoegaze” section of indie rock and although this is a lazy way to describe the beauty of My Bloody Valentine it is a nice starting point. If you have heard any hip indie thing use “Shoegaze” to describe their sound, that is because of My Bloody Valentine. Sure there are a few other bands that collectively helped shape this sound but My Bloody Valentine are at the centre of it.
So how do I describe My Bloody Valentine?
Well I have been throwing around my own little genre tag lately called “Shiver Pop” and a lot of great bands that I’m discovering, especially locally, are making this kind of sound. The first time I ever thought about the idea of “Shiver Pop” however was when I discovered My Bloody Valentine when I was just 19 years old. I was attracted to just how lush and dreamy their sound was. It was full of layered guitars that were creamy and floaty while still framed with harshness. Add to this the buried duel male / female vocals and the way in which they hovered underneath these sonic paintings. It was an exercise in art and in the spirit of rock n roll. I was convinced that the band was the most unique thing I had ever heard and to this day I still maintain that. So getting back to my original point, I’d describe My Bloody Valentine as the perfect representation of what I think Shiver pop is.
My favourite album is of course the guitar masterpiece “Loveless” and although I still love all the EPs and “Isn’t Anything” quite deeply, it is “Loveless” where the band finally arrived at their true sound. This was the dream album for any band and it was with “Loveless” that My Bloody Valentine gave a new language to not only indie rock but rock n roll as a whole. The reason I say that is because I found out about My Bloody Valentine by listening to bands like Deftones and Type O Negative who were big fans of the band. Listening to “Loveless” made me understand how the Deftones got that glide in their riffs. So in term of my life “Loveless” was a revolution and one I still love entering into each time I listen to it.
With the reissues the noticeable difference across the board is that the volume of it all, the mix and the overall lushness of each release is turned up and well balanced. The way it all sits together sounds even more amazing in my headphones. On “Loveless” in particular I can hear the subtle layers of backing vocals jumping out but still remaining beautifully buried in the mix. The way these vocals now add extra mood is just pure sex for my ears. After waiting years for new material, hearing the old stuff remastered is enough to tie me over until the new album gets released.
Whether you are a first timer or a long time fan, you need to own these re-issues because they are pure heaven. My Bloody Valentine will change your whole world.
10 Cassette Tapes out of 10