M B V

Studio Album by released in 2013

M B V review

Twenty years to keep one word

You have to keep your promises. Or you should not give them at all. Kevin Shields, leader of the awesome My Bloody Valentine, did not think long before saying Loveless would not be the last album in their studio discography. As is well-known, Loveless eventually became an iconic record to influence the sounding of a great many bands playing a wide range of styles, and My Bloody Valentine entered the cohort of the chosen and incomparable ones. Everything seemed smooth, but not many managed to wait until the story was continued. The ensemble disbanded shortly after, leaving Kevin a serious debt. As a man of his word, he reunited the outfit again, many years later, determined to record the promised album. Yet this happened not that fast. After driving his fans nervous and testing their patience a great deal, Shields did what he had to do only now, in 2013. Twenty two years after the release of Loveless, the Irish musicians issued a new studio record with what seems quite a logical title, m b v.

m b v: all is so familiar and fine

You can understand all the doubts and concerns shared by My Bloody Valentine followers before listening to the new record for the first time. Loveless was just a perfect effort with the music having all it needed. Yet these worries were all in vain. m b v is a product manufactured from the same materials, in the same workshop, by the same workers and according to the same technology. It looks like these twenty two years have never happened. The CD starts as if the musicians had no plans to give anything surprising. She Found Now is not one of those songs which open albums: moderate, it follows a mid tempo, with Shields’ signature half-whisper to the rumbling guitars, pulsating rhythms and crackling special effects. All of this solidifies the sensation that this CD simply picks up what was left by the previous record. As if warmed up, finally awake from a long sleep, the musicians played louder, more energetic and livelier on Only Tomorrow, and Bilinda Butcher delights with the unchanged vocal manner and her mystique and dreamy voice. Who Sees You faces you with layers of dragging and creaking guitars, and Is This And Yes embraces you with a veil of synths, and these are the boundaries of My Bloody Valentine between which the music of the band dwells.

Nothing new is needed

Once the hearts of the loyal calmed down in confidence that these My Bloody Valentine are those they were forced to part with for so long, the Irish musicians decided that it is the right time to go beyond the patterns they created. New You is the closest they could get to popular format, offering a distinct structure, soft rock tune and relatively clean sounding with few extra noises. In Another Way has quite a varied instrumentation for this style, with solid rhythm section, guitars and bagpipes. Nothing Is is quite a questionable piece with mighty drums and guitar-produced static reminding of a massive machine running nonstop. Yet the closing track, Wonder 2, is a hundred per cent My Bloody Valentine, noise chaos and Shields’ soaring vocals. At the end of the album we come to what the album started with, the band’s classic sounding. All in all, m b v is exactly what the band’s fans want, a record that offering nothing to beat the supreme Loveless, yet covering its best. An excellent release from an amazing ensemble.