Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Shoegaze Briefs 2014

Nice Laces

About a year ago, I wasn’t even sure of the difference between shoegaze and post-rock. (To be honest, I’m only 90% there.) Despite that, I ended up with promos for a lot of shoegaze albums in the first four months of 2014. Even Relapse is getting in on it. You know—Relapse. Maybe you’ve heard of them?

Alcest: Shelter (2014)
3.5 out of 5 stars

I might have to take back nearly everything I've said about Alcest. To be fair, I have always said that Alcest were really good but that I don't like them. Now that they've discarded the last remnants of metal, and I've expanded my own horizons a bit, I can really appreciate it for the shoegaze excellence that it is. It's hauntingly beautiful, shimmering guitar and soft singing. And for once, I'm not saying that as a criticism. I may have to revisit this band.

Nothing: Guilty of Everything (2014)
2.5 out of 5 stars

I was cool with the "Dig" single. I also liked the Alcest album I just finished talking about. But I don't really care for Nothing, and that's not a double-negative. It's shoegaze/pop-rock or whatever, but I don't find these breathy vocals and soft, shimmering guitars all that compelling.

Lantlôs: Melting Sun (2014)
3.5 out of 5 stars

Lantlôs is heavy, but soft, a combination you don't run across all that often. It's a sensuality that recalls recent Deftones. I quite enjoyed the first four tracks, and the way they worked hooks into their compositions, but the last two tracks were almost enough to put me to sleep.

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