Friday, November 21, 2014
Wildhoney on Photobooth Records
My Bloody Valentine is a mammoth touchstone that started an entire genre.*
*It's also lazy to compare them to any band but I went ahead and did it to Wildhoney. Don't hold it against me just listen to these guys for yourself. I also thought of Ride and Galaxie 500 but that just feels like a reach, like I'm TRYING to come up with someone not obvious so why not just go back to the source and call it. Are they the most referenced band in history? Do they get referenced far too often? Probably yes to both but if the shoe fits why are you trying on some other weird size just to be a weirdo. It's a compliment and there's not enough bands working in that style as far as I'm concerned.
On A-Side's "Seventeen" enter some heavy guitar loops, bent, buried underwater guitars just dying to burst out from that film, to break the surface tension they're nestled in. The drums suddenly kick into that dense and heavy My Bloody Valentine sound, a Jesus and Mary Chain sludgy layered distortion that is wallet opening. I love Lauren Shusterich's vocals that float above this in drawn out phrases with equal parts layered harmony. I will admit they're pushing the tempo more than most MBV stuff and are blindly focused on the pop but still execute all parts of that sound; infinite guitar delays and a melody appearing out of fog to disappear into something else. Constantly changing, shifting and rising into Explosion in the Sky heights with the chorus delay straight into the upper reaches of this atmosphere. It even goes back to Lush and the beginning English shoegaze, a complete surprise and appropriate if they are referencing the age of 17 which can be equally hazy and impossible to get to the bottom of, a swirling cloud of emotion that can't be separated.
B-Side "Get Out of My Dreams" is going to take that line back from Billy Ocean because I'm 17. Two beats wind this up into a crisp unnatural beat, hardly a snare with shimmering guitar work and Lauren on vocals breaks out of that dreamlike delivery a lot like Soccer Mom minus the sonic youth approach of seemingly ugly sonics. This is all the shiny, crisp parts collected and jammed together like a macaroni artwork. The bass line leads here while reaching for these insane heights and another set of risers up their sleeve. A higher distanced wail of guitars take the mystery back. "Soft Bats" They even give you three tracks of this, with no break? Love the way that last track runs right into this one. What I appreciate is this kind of density, it's like the Spinnanes laid back feel with a punk sound of Blonde Redhead. How much effort is spent on the mic distances and levels of every track of guitar. How often do you start with no sense of where this is going just knowing a melody is going to emerge out of this. Her vocal is always pulling this back together, as soon as they lose it with unleashed guitars they immediately take a backseat to this voice. The perfect balance of hard and loud with reason and content. Can't believe how much landscape they cram into a single, tell me they have a full length? (Coming soon on Deranged Records -ed) This could easily spread out but maybe the single kept this in perfect check as well? What do I know, don't change a thing, it's perfect.
Pick this up from Photobooth Records.