My Bloody Reunion - By Volume

I knew we'd never write. somehow that seemed alright. This counts as calling three years out. The Wrens - 13 Months in 6 Minutes

My Bloody Reunion

"We are being gifted that first time again," writes Dylan Siniscalchi Author: on June 28, 2012
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I have struggled for years now to explain what it is exactly that incites such a primal joy inside of me when I hear Loveless. I can’t even begin to understand the pressure encumbered by the man who so graciously bestowed it upon me. He had become a convert early in his high school years amid escaping traffic tickets and vanishing into Mardi Gras; I was introduced to My Bloody Valentine as a nineteen year old. Foolish though it may seem, dream pop is a badge worn with burden. Happy? Sure. But almost as frequently as adoration is unearthed, apprehension rears its gruesome mug. Not to harp, but at times it can be difficult to define why I adore these blaring guitars, dissonant drums and ethereal, barely discernible vocals. And I doubt I am the first to express this.

Following these re-masterings of My Bloody Valentine’s material – at the hands of Kevin Shields, in his wise-psychopath glory – I feel an intrinsic need to simply sack up and re-state why these records are so damn excellent. Not only important – it is very easy to look to most dreamy, reverb based indie rock and gesture towards MBV – but straight-up superb. What has left these songs feeling so distinct is their ability to still sound so fresh and exhilarating. Maybe it is the fact that so many still try to mirror Shields’ compositions that even now the source material shines. I tend to feel that the lack of any effects pedals, keyboard fills or traditional songwriting techniques led more to this exuberance. Shields, almost maniacal in his construction and recording, and who infamously drove his band apart while bankrupting a label, has now been given free reign on the re-mastering – and a much bigger budget. And it’s cause to celebrate. Kevin has grown more playful with time and these re-imaginations of My Bloody Valentine’s music bathe it in a different light, allowing the tunes to cast altered yet individual shadows.

Taken as a complete set, what stands out predominantly about this compilation is how much weight it grants the band’s early catalogue. Isn’t Anything and its tracks on the EP disc are debugged for the better, cleaning up the distorted production and pronouncing the vocals – breathing new life into these raucous songs. Colm Ó Cíosóig’s drum play is pushed to the forefront, highlighting just how distinct of a change he made between the band’s punkier and pop drenched stages, an aspect these re-masterings showcase exceptionally on the EP collection, posturing both their lush and more jagged songs closely next to one another. The sardine-can nature can at first seem daunting, but the two discs flow by effortlessly by virtue of the fact that Shields has somehow made this all sound more lush. Arguably their greatest EP, You Made Me Realise, sits frontloaded on the first disc; traditionally one of their rougher recordings is transformed into this spaciously soft escapade. Not that the record was unfun (suicidal themes notwithstanding) but there is a jovial undercurrent flowing through most of MBV’s music that Shields brings to the foreground with these re-masters.

What we can’t help but notice when considering this compilation is how such minor tinkering results in such huge payoffs. The distortion is cleaned up, the vocals are pronounced (though a song like “To Here Knows When” is still unapologetically ethereal) and the bass tones are emboldened, magnifying the warm backbone these songs possess. This aspect in particular is most impressively wielded on the Loveless re-master where these pink pillows of songs become even more cushy to the ear, effectively allowing us to re-enact our initial romantic fall for the swirling guitars and phantasm melodies. And this, above anything else, we can ascertain from these re-masters: as fans, we are being gifted that first time again, by the man who had gone crazy in delivering it to us in the first place. So no, maybe these My Bloody Valentine remasters are not going to change the minds of all who were already apprehensive about giving in to the maelstrom. If you are like myself, though – a believer – than please do yourself the justice of obtaining these LPs, and start seeing pink all over again.

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