'Melancholy & The Archive', the debut by Canadian shoegazers We Need Secrets, immediately recalls a myriad bands who liked drowning their tunes in that thing we call fuzz: the string bends on 'Melancholy' recall My Bloody Valentine, the happy melodies bring back the romantic pop Eric's Trip, and you can fill in the rest with your lo-fi indie rock band of choice. It's young person shoegaze, and it was mastered by Shellac bassist Bob Weston.
Tracks:How You Remember Months Like Years I Would Take You Over Me Melancholy Uncommitted Crimes The Archive Pain Lines Auster Sleeper Interiors Cycles
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What must it be like to be Kevin Shields? At any point of the day you are at risk of putting on the radio and hearing someone who has ripped you off. At one terrible point in musical history you could hear 57 varieties of Oasis at any given time and at the moment its My Bloody Valentine. I’d prefer the latter for sure but you wonder what is the point of starting a band if you have zero ideas of your own.
Still, there’s plenty out there who want to same idea rehashed and rehashed over and over again. Like Ringo Death Star, We Need Secrets take the My Bloody Valentine blueprint and smooth it out a bit, poppify it and take off the harsh edges. Opener ‘How You Remember’ has the tremeloed guitars, whispered vocals and rolling drum fills of any of the ‘Isn’t Anything’ era slices of genius. Its like the musical equivalent of Rob Brydon’s impression of Ken Bruce, so accurate to barely discern any difference but of course there’s one thing here missing - originality. The best tracks on 'MBV' went exactly where you least expected them. This goes exactly where you expect it to. ‘Months Like Years’ has the regulation noisy intro before rushing into pulverising verse. They do add a few extra touches - a J Mascis guitar solo for instance and there's some pulsing synths midway through side one.
This is no bad album. For many, sounding a bit like My Bloody Valentine will be enough to send them rushing to click the ‘buy’ button. But I’ve had quite enough of retro-ism, nostalgia and records that are tant amount to plagiarism. If you like My Bloody Valentine and want to hear more of that kind of sound done functionably, this will be for you.
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