Review Summary: During My Bloody Valentine's time at the top of the shoegaze charts, they release the EP which perfectly goes with their acclaimed Loveless
What is the Tremolo EP
? Is this an extension of My Bloody Valentine's genre defining masterpiece, Loveless
? Could it be a smaller version of that same disc that costs less? Maybe The Tremolo EP
will be set to be not mass produced so those who do have it can sell it for $20 on eBay. Whatever purpose the EP served, the music that made it up was made in the Loveless era, so you know the band is at their creative and overall peak.
As previously mentioned, this was made during and around the release of Loveless
which is the critically acclaimed and one of only three full length albums My Bloody Valentine would release. Though the band would be loved by critics and only mainly in the UK for their moody atmospheric shoegaze rock, this and the album went nowhere in the US, contributing to the eventually nothingness that became the band (like they just didn't do anything). Though this was their basic swan song, what a song it is. Displaying the talents that would never be fully expanded on with more than a few releases, this EP really shows how small their careers were, but the quality on the disc shows they were no flash in the pan musically.
On the EP is one song from Loveless
, and 3 b-sides, which will all be reviewed separately thanks to the length of the work and the number of songs. Obtaining a physical copy of this is probably easiest on an online order site, or maybe the indie record store down the street.
To Here Knows When
begins the EP and sounds as fresh on the regular album as it does here. Guitarist (and hunk) Kevin Shields goes out of his way to making this track what it is, swirling guitar noises and sounds layered so beautifully over one another. Vocalist Belinda Butcher plays her role too as well. Being used more as a component in sound than as someone who sings lyrics into a microphone, she gives the song her usual feminine touch. Through indistinguishable lyrics and staring at her shoes, she gives the band the dimension of being a normal band with a vocalist, but her sweet voice and great tone do so much more for the band and its sound. Near the end the string sounding sections repeat as do the guitars as Belinda repeats "go" or some other poor lyric over and over till it swirls to a conclusion.
puts more of an emphasis on the other members of the band, but still captures Kevin and Butcher doing their thing. It is on this track that drummer Colm O'Ciosoig delivers a more alive and active beat to compliment the basic guitar. at this point the only missing member is bassist Debbie Googe, which is somewhat of a problem but is somewhat made alright by the great contributions of Shields, not only in his consistent guitar playing, but the coatings of sound that he paints on this and most My Bloody Valentine tracks. While this track may be a coming out for O'Ciousoig, this is not the best track on here.
is easily the best track on here, and is an honest to God candidate for best My Bloody Valentine song on here. What sometimes brings this band down is not on display here. The beginning of it feels like an awakening from the less produced Swallow
, loud guitar leads and revamped drums kick the lead out and let loose here. The lyrics for this are somewhat understandable if you're listening closely, but if not they are along the lines of "Take my flower/Touch/before I die/Over you/Then we'll sleep for another hour". Romantic? Perhaps. They don't exactly add to the music except for shaping Butcher's mouth when she sings which is sort of like playing different notes. The song ends on a mellow note after about a minute, and is definitely the highlight song.
introduces Shields as the second singer in the band, and the song goes slower than the other songs. He as a singer is more understandable with lyrics than his other half and thus could be considered a better singer in the sense that the words get out there. This is all according to preference of course, and depends if a person likes a male singer who gets the words in, or a female singer who gets her voice in. Musically this is less than the rest of the songs, occasionally playing a set of wind chimes to lighten the mood occasionally, and then fade out.
The beginning of this review begged the question of what exactly this is, and it seems to have been answered. The bands intentions for recording this aren't exactly known and are probably not for eBay purposes, but for whatever reason, it exists. It could be used as an introduction to the band as during its 4 songs, it does show several sides of themselves, the loud, the quiet, and the noisy.