My Bloody Valentine UK tour 2013
Shoegaze legends release first album in 22 years
The unexpected surprise comeback is a devalued currency in music these days, what with The Stone Roses and David Bowie having crossed the rubicon and The Smiths’ return feeling more like an inevitability waiting to happen. In which case the stealth release the other week of mbv, Anglo-Irish shoegaze progenitors My Bloody Valentine’s first album in 22 years, was not what might strictly be termed a surprise. The group reconvened in a live sense almost five years ago, and their musical orchestrator Kevin Shields hinted in an interview towards the end of last year that a new record was imminent.
What we’re left with, then, is a minor but welcome alternative event that feels more resonant and unique for the way it happened than because it happened at all. One, because the act of hearing the record unspoilered and unleashed even as our friends took to social media to offer up their own live responses felt like a rare instance (insofar as the much-buffeted music industry is concerned) of the hypercommunality for which the web was designed.
And two, because it’s a sublime record by any measure those who love this band might care to make. The looping swoons and effect-ridden helicopter guitars of ‘nothing is’ and the mountainous ‘wonder 2’ prove towering peaks on which to immolate your cochlea at the cacophonous live show.
Barrowland, Glasgow, Sat 9 Mar.