Thursday, February 7, 2013

mbv and me

my bloody valentine
(self-released, 2013)

When I was six or seven years old, i went on a summer activities outing to a lake. Memory has me accompanied by my brother and sister, but little beyond that. What I do remember is: sitting on a pier in the blazing hot sun, captured now and forever as an overexposed Polaroid. I'll never know the genesis of the shove that sent me into the water-horseplay? accidental? 
All that really mattered was
1) the shock of submergence, the gasping, the flailing 
2) the sudden advent of a world of blue, and the calmness of leaving
3) laying on the dock, puking and spitting and looking up into my brother's face
I do not know how to swim, and it is unlikely that I will ever learn. But I love the ocean...
 My Bloody Valentine have broken their silence by self-releasing a new LP simply entitled mbv. Shrugging off the looming shadow of Chinese Democracy, MBV was so far out in front that they can piss off 22 years and still be ahead of the game. Why their singular combination of noise strikes such a chord, even, or especially, in their absence, will remain a mystery of life. After years of guarantees, hints, allusions, covers, collaborations, soundtracks, and utter silence, it was easy to sniff and dismiss the most recent utterance from Mr. Shields that the album would be out by the end of the year. After all, he'd said that in 1997, as well. Apparently, the last time he pulled the record back, it was to re-record the drums. So when the new year came and went, the collective geek went back to its hovel. The weekend announcement that the record would drop that evening, (saturday), sent folks into a collective tizzy, and when the event did transpire, demand crashed the sight, and left them pounding their keyboard in a frenzy of refresh. Caveat Emptor: reports from Ireland and Los Angeles have noted flaws in the site causing multiple billings, so do keep an eye on your accounts if/when you purchase. The entire LP is streaming on YouTube on the official My Bloody Valentine channel, so you can test spin it to your heart's desireTheir work is elusive on a good day, and only fools or charlatans would seek to render judgement on this work in such early days. What follows are merely impressions to prepare you for immersion. 
Unlike the seamless flow of Loveless, the nine song mbv breaks neatly into thirds: “she found now” kicks off with a furious grinding in neutral, setting up the glorious release of “only tomorrow”, which once it hits its stride, could go on forever. “who sees you” ups the ante before shattering abruptly. Reaching the heart of the album, the trilogy of “is this and yes”, “if i am”, and the stunning “new you” peel back to the shimmering core, revealing the bruised beauty underneath. Getting down to the business for the final three cuts, “in another way” opens up into a blossom of layered noise, while the pounding instrumental “nothing is” falls back on the holding pattern trick of the first song before yielding to the ascension of “wonder 2”, closing the LP victoriously. My last observation is: the louder you play it, the more will be revealed. There's nothing more to be afraid of.

My Bloody Valentine, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 02 Oct, 2008
My Bloody Valentine, Coachella, 2009

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