Genres you should really try No.1: Shoegazing

Genres are usually things that get formed when music writers (and amatuers like myself) fail to find words for one or more albums. Some instantly conjure up bad stuff: r&b ballad, jazz fusion, funk rock for instance. But there's some fields of music that are worth checking out (or at least I think so, but we all know how much that means).

My Bloody Valentine - LovelessShoegazing: ah come with me, if you will back to the late 80's. Actually don't, 'cos it was shite back then. The only band worth a crap were the Pixies and if you had been about then, you wouldn't have heard of them. I know I hadn't. To be honest, as lot of people look back at the 80's as a culural wasteland, (more on this down below) because there weren't any kind of inide stars like there are today (boy weren't they lucky to not have Pete Doherty and Johnny Borrell). Part of this was down to shoe-gazing, a genre of music completely obsesses with sound and not image. That's how the scene got it's name; pasty, white boys staring at their feet.

Champions of this were My Bloody Valentine, led by Kevin Shields (aka. the man who almost bankrupted Creation records). There were a fairly crap inide band until Kevin realised if you played one note for 30 minutes solid at ear bursting volume, people would go apeshit. Great: now make an album that does that. That album is "Loveless", a seminal album that they never even bothered trying to better. It's massive amounts of white noise, but instead of being abrasive, it's almost ethereal and shimmering.

What killed shoegazing was like all scenes; the bands that came later. Frankly none of them were any good, and the fact MBV never recorded another album closed the door. Mind you, Nirvana coming along and making rock music massive again didn't help. It's influence can be heard though in any group that uses guitars to make a massive wall of noise.

If you like this try:

  • Amusement Parks on Fire – Amusement Parks on Fire
  • Engineers – Engineers

Next time: Post Punk


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