We can haz drone…
Michaelangelo Matos: Bubblegum angst just gets more bubblegummy by the year, doesn’t it? Here’s a gothgaze hybrid from a London duo — mixed by Alan Moulder no less — basically stuck to the bottom of the desk.
Andrew Unterberger: It’s not just that this song so beautifully recalls one of my favorite periods in pop music, but that it recalls one that I thought was practically revival-proof. “Velvet” sounds exactly like a lost gem from 1993, from that creamy period in alternative rock that was post-Grunge but pre-Post-Grunge, where alternative could still mean anything from The Breeders to Tears for Fears to Dead Can Dance to Suede. And this song, gauzy, sweet and coolly dispassionate, sounds like it could’ve easily slipped through the cracks of that time period, to be the kind of forgotten hit that I’d bemoan no one else remembering, and no one bothering to write anymore. Well, apparently they still do, after all. Good thing.
Martin Skidmore: I didn’t like any shoegaze the first time round, and adding a touch of electronica doesn’t make a significant improvement. The previous connection with half of this duo with Alec Empire offered some hints of promise, but there is none of that force and attack in this – it just drones on. No thank you.
Tom Ewing: Like 95% of shoegaze past, present and future this is pointless, passive, go-nowhere fuzz: sulkiness as a substitute for intensity, aiming for whirlpool and ending up with plughole. On the other hand this kind of shit is what I spent most of 1990 listening to so I’m thoroughly immunized by now and actually quite enjoyed it. Leave me, save yourselves!
Chuck Eddy: The synths at the beginning have some schizzy crunch to them, but then the whining starts. So, sadly, none of the punch of “Don’t Trust Me” by 3Oh!3 (which I actually increasingly like, despite my misgivings about its moral despicability.) None of the asshole humor, either. And rhythmically, 3Oh!3 are James Brown in comparison. (Or at least, I dunno, EMF. Information Society. Somebody.) Thing is, this does have some smidgen of Jesus and Mary Chain comeliness to its sad melody, somehow. So, much to my surprise, I don’t entirely hate it.
Alfred Soto: Spook-techno of a high grade, with a faint shoegaze veneer. This is more “velour” than “velvet,” though. At least the singer doesn’t think his vocals are less important than the guitars when it comes to blasting your eardrums.
David Raposa: If there’s a middle road somewhere between “Lemon” and “Numb,” this tune’s in its fast lane driving 20 miles below the speed limit, and I’m about to park my headlights in its back seat.
Hillary Brown: Alternately uninteresting (too laidback) and suffocating (loud, all up in my space), like an awful relationship. Some minor points for good-ish vocals.
Matt Cibula: Heavy, overdriven, doom-haunted, one-dimensional, interesting without being too interesting. But desperately and tragically un-funky, and that’s a deal-breaker, ladies.
Ian Mathers: God only knows if they’ve got any staying power, but as an introduction this is a perfect slice of idling-jet-engine grade shoegaze once it kicks in. With a two-man band the burbling digital beats on the intro make a certain amount of sense, but really how much you like this will depend entirely on two factors: do you still like shoegaze, and do you mind the singer sounding a bit like him out of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club?