The title of Slowdive’s first album in 24 years is surprising insightful. The self-titled Slowdive is perhaps the most Slowdive-ish album of them all. It could pulled out of today and slotted into their discography and at any point in between their past releases.
The haunting, soaring guitars still take center stage – either doling out delicate melodies a la “Catch the Breeze” or wall-of-sound as they did on Blue Day. No more toying with electronics, this is the core Slowdive.
Given the way Slowdive fell apart at the crashing end of shoegaze, there is comforting assurance from knowing that when these five musicians get together, this is the music they make. Neil and Rachel’s voices still slot seamlessly together, with subtle undercurrents throughout the songs that demonstrate the maturity gained from more time on this planet. While Pygmalion has its fans, today’s new album is the one Slowdive should have released instead.
[Buy a copy of Slowdive on limited edition silver vinyl in the 3hive Co-op Shop. While supplies last.]
Portland, Oregon 3 piece, Lubec, are back with a new release, Cosmic Debt. Like, The Thrall (their 2014 debut), Lubec comes at you in full force again, with more fuzzed-out, swirling guitars and killer three-part vocal harmonies. For a taste, give the standout track “Breakup Haricut” (below) a spin. Cosmic Debt is available on cassette and digitally via Disposable America and Lubec’s Bandcamp page. Enjoy.
Lubec – Breakup Haircut from Cosmic Debt (2016)
According to Spotify, Monster Treasure has only 44 monthly listeners. That’s gotta be a typo, or glitch, or data breach, or whatever the right modern term is… All I can say is I’m happy to be #45. This Stockton, California, trio has been on repeat since I found out about their 2016 self-titled album (somewhat circuitously) by way of the UK label Leisure + District. It’s a potent sonic cocktail of punk, garage, pop, and shoegaze that manages to bounce between giddy and melancholy, rambunctious and introspective, without missing a beat. Have a listen and see if you don’t become the next monthly listener. Or better yet, plunk down a few bucks for the long-player in the Co-op Shop. You won’t regret it.
Trementina describe their latest album as “music for lucid dreaming”. Not a bad “file under” for a band intent on evolving beyond the My Bloody Valentine tributes that drew listeners to 2014’s solid shoegazer effort Almost Reach the Sun.
New influences and elements mark each track, from the lilting Beach House sound of “Please, Let’s Go Away” to the cavernous dub of “A Place Up in the Sky”. The modulated wall of guitar and rumbling drums get traded for otherworldly atmospherics with a backbone of machine beats, clearing a bigger space for singer Vanessa Cea to fill with her angelic vocals. Given Cea’s presence it’s tempting to compare her to a coherent Robin Guthrie or playful Siouxsie Sioux but, taking the album in as a whole, her range is too wide to peg.
Compared to earlier recordings, the album feels more connected to its origins: the band’s home studio in the remote town of Valdivia, Chile (its title, 810, refers to the distance in kilometers from the capitol city of Santiago). While I’ve never been, these songs seem to evoke the moods and mindset of a place only the band knows well enough to communicate.
810 is escapist and intimate at the same time, and one of my favorites of 2017 so far.
[Buy Trementina’s 810 on shiny new vinyl in the 3hive Co-op Shop, while supplies last.]