With all the recent synth and post punk and new wave records I have been posting as of late, I thought that maybe it would be a nice idea to completely digress musically for a day. The above-mentioned genres are just some of my favorite; but sometimes I just love to put on a shoegaze album and bliss out to a warm blanket of hazy sound. I know there are a lot of others who love post punk and shoegaze with equal fervor - maybe it's because of the atmosphere and mood that the two genres create, maybe it's because both genres are the perfect blend of rebellion against the greater music world and embracing of fringe elements of pop sensibility.
This record - a completely unknown gem from a UK band called Mock - is one of my current favorites. In only four (long) songs, they pack an entire album's worth of reverbed beauty. They take their cues from the best of the shoegaze set - especially Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. In fact, the song Diving sounds so much like it's off of Souvlaki that I sometimes have to take a look at what record I have on just to verify. The song is an epic of sloooow, deliberate percussion, dense washes of guitar noise and bass fuzz and vocals that are reverbed to the point of abstraction. The title track features stabs and plucks of warm guitars on top of a thick wall of sound, with dual vocals that simultaneously sound male, female, and androgenous. The first song, Poppy, and the final song, the wonderfully titled Vertigo Melt, are the real rock songs on the album; Vertigo Melt in particular sounds like it could have come from pre-Loveless MBV.
I cannot recommend this highly enough. If you have a passing interest in shoegaze, you'd do well to take a listen to this. What it may lack in originality, it more than makes up for in ear-piercing euphony.
Mock: Skyryder EP
1994, Bites Back! Records
B2 Vertigo Melt