After Kevin Shields’s teasing announcement last week that the new My Bloody Valentine album, mbv, would be out in “two or three days”, he’s proved as good as his word. Fans of Loveless will be relieved to note that mbv continues very much in that vein, all shimmering soundscapes of layered distortion and drifting, insubstantial vocals. Most pleasing of all, My Bloody Valentine haven’t lost their ear for a fine pop hook, as mbv continues its predecessor’s trick of wrapping hummable tunes in trippy weirdness. Only Tomorrow could almost pass for Nine Inch Nails in their Bowie-Berlin phase, a companion-piece to The Day The World Went Away. Then, halfway through the album, mbv starts to get really interesting.
mbv skips between its familiar shoegaze rock and the post-rock likes of Godspeed You! Black Emporer, aligning itself more closely with contemporary classical. Perhaps My Bloody Valentine heard the last Micachu and the Shapes album and took it as a challenge: hooking into a pop formula, twisting it and spitting it out as a Lewis Carroll take on indie rock. This is music heard through a fairground mirror.
The mistake other bands make when trying to sound like My Bloody Valentine – other than lacking proper songs – is that they have no guts. Some of this music is bloody fierce, an inferno of guitars, ostinato riffs and train-wreck rhythms. The first couple of tracks might be fan-service, but there’s no attempt to pander. It’s not front-loaded like most pop albums; they trust you to listen carefully and be carried along as it warps into something new. It might have been two decades in the making, but My Bloody Valentine have all the time in the world. It sounds like it has always been here, ageless and immortal.
The notice up at My Bloody Valentine’s official website reads:
The new album is available to buy now.
The album is available in three formats:
180 gram vinyl + CD + digital download of your choice
CD + digital download of your choice
digital download of your choice
The digital download will be available in the following file types:
16bit 44.1 K WAV file (cd quality)
24bit 96 K WAV file
The price of the digital download only is the same regardless of the file quality and size.
The vinyl has been recorded, mixed and mastered in analogue. It is manufactured on 180 gram vinyl and comes in a gatefold sleeve with the CD in a card wallet. The vinyl will be limited due to manufacturing restrictions.
The CD comes in a gatefold card sleeve.
The vinyl and CD artwork is currently being finished and each format will have slightly different but similar artwork to the download artwork that will be attached to your download (pictured in main pack-shot on right of screen).
Kevin Shields claimed that My Bloody Valentine never followed up Loveless because he didn’t believe they’d ever write anything that good again. mbv may even have surpassed it.