theBoneyKing
theBonerKing
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Last Active 06-14-19 1:06 pm
Joined 04-20-15

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 Lists
10.29.19 imma stay out of this sowing mess12.18.18 Boney's Favorite Songs of 2018
08.04.18 15k Boney Comments!04.20.18 3 Years of Boney!
02.28.18 A (Belated) Boney 2017 11.15.17 Oathbringer!
10.29.17 What genre has the best lyrics?10.14.17 Listening to whole discogs vs highlight
08.16.17 Boney's Shoegaze Journey08.09.17 Rec Boney Shoegaze
07.27.17 The Devil's Number07.21.17 Sonemic Beta
07.12.17 10k Boney Comments!04.20.17 Two Years of Boney / Buddies
04.14.17 Boney's Anticipated Albums 201703.16.17 Boney's Recent Downloads
03.07.17 Five Word Story01.13.17 A Boney 2016
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Boney's Shoegaze Journey

I am compiling the recs from my previous list here and will be using this to track my thoughts as I work through them. Where multiple albums by the same band were recommended I am putting them under one entry only to save space. Also where people independently gave the same rec I'm crediting both, and if just a band was recommended rather than a specific album I've chosen their most popular album/the one most relevant to shoegaze as far as I can tell.
1Catherine Wheel
Ferment


butcherboy
Ferment:
I’m mixed on this one. While the tunes are decent, they tend to get held back by a lack of memorable elements and the subpar production leads to a muddied sound. I feel like there’s a sort of identity crisis going on, as while there is certainly a lot of gaze here the songs have the feel of alt-rock; it almost seems like the shoegaze is merely a cover up for the weakness of the songs. There are certainly some great moments but overall it’s pretty underwhelming.
Rating: 3.0

Chrome:
Chrome improves on Ferment in every way. The songwriting, guitar work, and hooks are much tighter, and the production is much better, resulting in a much richer overall sound and much more memorable songs. Catherine Wheel really flex their alt-rock muscles on this album, but while it’s less gazey it still maintains the wall of sound and in fact has a better sense of atmosphere than Ferment does - look no further than the gorgeous slowburner “Fripp”. A triumph.
Rating: 4.3
2Swervedriver
Raise


butcherboy + UniqueUniverse
Raise:
This is another one with a heavy alt rock sound. I'm not a fan of the vocals and vocal melodies, they're more obscured it's fine. Their impressive energy and sound usually makes up for occasionally unimpressive songwriting. My favorites are Son of Mustang Ford with its catchy riff and Sandblasted which has the most interesting structure and is a bit less aggressive than the rest.
Rating: 3.5

Mezcalhead:
This isn't too different from Raise, though it seems they turned down the shoegaze a bit in favor of a more grungey sound. This is definitely the gaze album to give to your Pearl Jam-loving friends. The first half is fairly weak but it improves later on, Girl on a Motorbike and A Change is Gonna Come being particularly great. The best thing about this is the two-part bonus track, 12 minutes of shoegaze perfection. The first part is a standard rock song with an awesome riff while the second is an instrumental with SAXOPHONE of all things.
Rating: 3.8
3Heretoir
The Circle


Aberf
4Nothing
Guilty of Everything


Aberf + UniqueUniverse
Nothing have a powerful sound which combines shoegaze with the songwriting of 90s grunge and emo with plenty of contrasting loud and quiet moments. There is usually one guitar churning away with a crunchy riff up front in the mix, with a more spacey, textured one floating along in the background. They strike a great balance between these two aspects of the sound, and it’s all underpinned but strong drumming and of course the dreamy vocals. That said not all of the songs are memorable - some stronger vocal melodies may have helped a bit. Plenty of great tunes here to come back to though, “B&E” in particular has a wonderfully spacey sound that incorporates some female vocals into the mix and it builds to a powerful, gorgeous climax. I also the tightness of the brief “Bent Nail” and the guitar squalls attacking in the middle of “Dig”, and the closing title track ends the album on a strong note.
Rating: 3.5
5The Angelic Process
Weighing Souls With Sand


Aberf
6Sleep Dealer
The Way Home


Aberf
An enjoyable EP. I'm not sure where the shoegaze is though, I'd call this post-rock or even just instrumental rock instead. The sound is kind of like if Explosions in the Sky wrote more compact songs and left out the crescendos. It also reminds me a bit of the sparser sections of Alcest songs. However, these analogies show what's missing in this - it doesn't build to anything memorable. It's all perfectly pleasant, very listenable, but there aren't many moments that really grab the ear. That said, the short runtime works in the EP's favor and prevents it from outstaying its welcome.
Rating: 3.0
7The Daysleepers
Drowned in a Sea of Sound


Aberf
8Kinoko Teikoku
Uzu Ni Naru


Aberf
9Amesoeurs
Ruines Humaines


Aberf
10Lantlos
.neon


Aberf
11Mass of the Fermenting Dregs
Mass of the Fermenting Dregs


Aberf
12Jesu
Jesu


Aberf
Cold and dense, Jesu is quite a numbing experience. Their take on shoegaze reminds me of that of Have a Nice Life and Planning For Burial, though Jesu have a more metal-oriented sound than either of those. The songs are long, only 8 tracks making up this 74 minute beast. The focus is mostly on creating thick walls of droning guitar, with the occasional chugging riff and organ-like sound tossed in for good measure. There are some nice, melancholic vocal melodies interspersed throughout as well. Unfortunately as a whole it doesn’t have too much of an impact on me, most of the songs outstay their welcome by a few minutes and across the whole runtime it gets a bit tiring. “Sun Day” is probably my favorite song overall.
Rating: 3.7
13Bailter Space
Robot World


NeroCorleone80
14Pale Saints
The Comforts of Madness


butcherboy
+ In Ribbons (UniqueUniverse)
15Marriages
Kitsune


bgillesp
16Swirlies
Blonder Tongue Audio Baton


Yep321
I really like their other album so unsurprisingly I like this. This isn't quite pure shoegaze, the first 3 proper songs especially are more indie rock/noise pop but with pretty interesting structures, almost math rock-esque in places. Then there's the odd sound effects based piece His Life of Academic Freedom before they turn up the gaze with Pancake and ride that out for the remainder of the album. The kind of gaze they do here is the upbeat, noisy type, somewhat less dreamy and pretty than most of They Spent Their Wild Youthful Days - pre-Loveless MBV is a clear touchstone but the indie spin they have gives it its own feel. For now I don't like this quite as much as They Spent... but it's great stuff and I think it'll grow on me a bit more.
Rating: 4.0
17Drop Nineteens
Delaware


Yep321
18Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
On The Echoing Green


Yep321
19Medicine
Shot Forth Self Living


Yep321 + hal1ax + UniqueUniverse
Lots of great elements here but I'm not sure it amounts to much great material. The noise factor here is pretty high but is tempered out nicely by the exceedingly pleasant vocals and melodies, however its lacking a bit in the way of songs, many of them simply droning along at one pace and not doing much of anything. That said it's not without its highlights, I like how Queen of Tension shifts into a nosier second half, the dance beats and noise rock/industiral-esque intro of Aruca are cool, and the closer Christmas Song is a true stunner. That said this feels like it could grow quite a bit with repeated listens.
Rating: 3.2
20Whirr
Distressor


hal1ax
First thing I noticed about this is how different it sounds from the Whirr songs on the Whirr/Nothing split. I really like the female vocals, and they conjure up a powerful, dark sound. However most of the songs don’t stick with me that much. “Sandy” is by far the best, with its slower, dark and textured atmosphere.
Rating: 3.2

Around:
Conmaniac
On this EP Whirr go in a more interesting slowcore and post-rock influenced direction and I love it. The songwriting is more drawn-out and mature this time around and there are more memorable moments. Will definitely come back to this one a fair amount.
Rating: 3.7

Pipe Dreams:
UniqueUniverse
Despite this one being an album it's not that much longer than the two EPs above. More solid stuff, pretty similar to Distressor in sound but perhaps a bit poppier. Pleasant while it's on but there aren't many high points, it all kind of flows together with the exception of the acoustic "Formulas and Frequencies".
Rating: 3.1
21Asobi Seksu
Citrus


Gmemberkills
Well isn't this just gorgeous? Apparently the band name means something along the lines of "fun sex" and that's a pretty good summation of what this sounds like, the band presenting a bright and poppy take on shoegaze. The songs exude energy, particularly in the adorable and gorgeous female lead vocals (sung in both Japanese and English). This is probably one of the closest things I've heard to Slowdive in how it approaches shoegaze through layered, ethereal walls of guitar rather than more abrasive, noisy textures (not that it doesn't get noisy at times). All of the instrumentation is on point, really - in particular the bass is a bit more melodic and up front than in most other shoegaze I've heard. Best of all is the 8-minute centerpiece "Red Sea", which starts out as another poppy number before it devolves into a post-rock-esque wall of droning guitars. Lovey stuff.
Rating: 4.2
22Astrobrite
Whitenoise Superstar


Gmemberkills + TheSpaceMan
True to its name, Whitenoise Superstar is an album filled with quite a lot of noise. Rather than writing standard songs, Astrobrite create impressionistic, almost ambient pieces full of chaotic noise. MBV’s more drawn-out moments like “To Here Knows When” seem to be a clear touchstone but while MBV were always concerned with writing a good pop song Astrobrite, despite the pretty, melodic vocals that feature throughout - albeit forced into the wall of noise rather than to the forefront - prefer to keep things mostly static. Overall there aren’t many memorable moments across the hour-long runtime, aside from the occasional brief interlude tacked on at the end of the track, and while the layering is fairly impressive, ultimately Whitenoise Superstar doesn’t feel like an album worth returning to more than a few times.
Rating: 2.9
23Lilys
In the Presence of Nothing


Gmemberkills + foxblood
While I’m well past the point where I think all shoegaze sounds like My Bloody Valentine, this album undoubtedly has an unhealthy obsession for MBV - “Tone Bender”’s main riff is virtually a rip off of “Only Shallow”’s. Mostly it’s enjoyable, but there are a few songs I dislike, most notably the 12-minute "The Way Snowflakes Fall” which despite being the most unique thing here is just irritating. The version I listened to (the 2017 re-release, with 2 added tracks) is a bit overlong, but my favorite section is the closing 4 track run after “Snowflakes”.
Rating: 3.2

Eccsame The Photon Band:
Fripp
This album, on the other hand, I love. Sounding almost nothing like ItPoN, the songwriting is a lot more diverse, drawing from slowcore, post-rock, and neo-psych in addition to noise pop (it's not very shoegazey, though). Despite the ridiculous album and song titles, this is a very serious sounding album, and a much more mature and creative one than ItPoN.
Rating: 4.1
24The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa
Susurrate


Pigment:
foxblood
This brief EP consists of four short and snappy noise pop tunes, very nice melodies intermixed with the requisite distortion. “What’s” is quote punky, “Square Wave” is wonderfully cloudy, “Who’s” calls to mind “You Made Me Realize” era MBV, and “Honeyrain” crushes you with its droning guitars.
Rating: 3.9

Gmemberkills
I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as the EP. The songs on Susurrate are quite a bit longer on average and go for a more soundscape oriented style rather than condensing the songs into shorter and more tuneful ones like those of Pigment. A few songs are kind of awkward sounding with some weaker drumming and melodies, and the more abrasive sound is just less appealing overall - I do think this could have been improved with better production. Some really good tracks, particularly “To Alison” and “Absinth”, but I likely won’t return to this one as much.
Rating: 3.0
25Rollerskate Skinny
Horsedrawn Wishes


foxblood
26Chapterhouse
Whirlpool


foxblood + UniqueUniverse
27All Natural Lemon and Lime Flavors
All Natural Lemon and Lime Flavors


foxblood
28Ultra Cindy
The Mermaid's Parade


foxblood
29Loop
A Gilded Eternity


foxblood
30The Boo Radleys
Ichabod And I


foxblood
31Curve
Pubic Fruit


Cuberduck
+ Doppelganger (Fripp)
32Cranes
Loved


Cyberduck
33Skullflower
IIIrd Gatekeeper


Cyberduck
34Dean Garcia
Das Haus Volume One


Cyberduck
35Ride
Nowhere


Masochist + UniqueUniverse
Nowhere:
Well this is quite great. I'm not sure yet if it deserves to stand alongside Loveless and Souvlaki but it impresses right off the bat. I dig the more direct alt-rock approach (there's a bit of jangle pop here too - the vocals and vocal melodies are rather Morrissey-esque) and more prominent drumming but the shoegaze elements are all there too in the feedback-laden guitar work. Strong variety as well - love the strings on the last song.
Rating: 4.3

Going Blank Again:
Another great album from Ride. There's a bit less explicitly shoegaze stuff here but songs like Leave Them All Behind, OX4, Mouse Trap, and Cool Your Boots are really excellent stuff and the optimistic poppy feel of this makes for a very uplifting listen.
Rating: 3.8

Today Forever EP:
Solid EP, only Today stacks up to Nowhere though. The rest is a bit forgettable but still solid gaze vibes.
Rating: 3.5
36Starflyer 59
Silver


Masochist
37Lovesliescrushing
Bloweyelashwish


StallionMang
On paper this album is something of a mess, a mix of half-cooked fragments and more fleshed-out ambient pieces. The vocals are appropriately angelic in accordance with the cover and track titles and there are some truly beautiful textures across this thing. I dig the occasional ethereal wave influences as on "squaredglowing". In some cases I question how much skill was used in making these sketches but in others the layering and occasional bursts of chaos are quite beautiful. After the incredibly gorgeous "babysbreath" it takes a little while to get going again but from tracks 9-10 on it's blissful beauty, the duo of "youreyesimmaculate" and "crushing" being a particular peak. 3.8/5

+ Xuvetyn
38Kairon IRSE!
Ujubasajuba


AdolfChrist
First of all, what a ridiculous band name/album title/cover art combination we have here! The music herein is for the most part a bit more tame than that would have you think. Aside from the strange and somewhat off-putting vocals on a few tracks, what you have here is a set of long space and post-rock esque songs with shoegaze undertones. The overall vibe is very jammy and loose (in fact there are even a few sections that devolve into jam band esque grooves), though there are some cool buildups and climaxes. The guitar tones are quite great too. Overall though it’s a bit too spacey and loose for me to really fall in love with and the aforementioned vocals can be a turnoff at times but overall this is an enjoyable listen.
Rating: 3.2
39Teenage Filmstars
Star


sixdegrees
40Sea Dweller
Love Is Coming


sixdegrees
Sea Dweller have certainly nailed their upbeat dreamgaze sound, making Love Is Coming an extremely pleasant listening experience. This album is really consistent - almost to a fault, because in the end it’s somewhat difficult to remember what the individual songs sound like. There aren’t any major fluctuations in quality across the tracklist (perhaps the second half is a tad better than the first, but it’s hard to say) so there isn’t really a clear standout and I think that would have helped make the album a bit more memorable. Ultimately though, Love Is Coming is a pleasure to hear.
Rating: 3.7
41Difference Engine
Breadmaker


sixdegrees
A lovely album. Leaning a bit more towards dream pop than shoegaze, Difference Engine have a gorgeous sound combining plenty of layers of guitar with nice interplay between male and female vocals and a fairly active rhythm section - the drumming is more interesting than what you usually get in this style and the bass lines are pretty prominent too. The guitar sound is wonderful be it more atmospheric and textured or jangly. There are some interesting electronic components too giving some songs a subtle, bubbly psychedelic feel. Basically, these 7 tracks (8 if you count the bonus track on the reissue) have everything you could want from a shoegaze album. Definitely an overlooked gem.
Rating: 4.0
42Ultracherry Violet
I Fall to Pieces


sixdegrees
43Colfax Abbey
Drop


sixdegrees
44Here
Swirl


sixdegrees
Wow. This is exactly what I wanted when I asked for shoegaze recs. With the album title and, for lack of a better word, swirls of purple on the cover and a song titled "Haze" you can just tell that this is shoegaze to the bone. Essentially what you have here is an excellently executed example of the quintessential gaze sound: Layers of textured guitar with pretty vocal melodies obscured in the background all coming together to form a beautiful wall of sound. It's not exactly original but it does what it does awesomely. My only complaint would be that sometimes the vocals are a bit too buried in the mix. It feels strange to call out specific songs or moments since it all blends together wonderfully, overall this is a really great experience and I'll definitely be coming back to it a lot.
Rating: 4.1
45Thud
Floret


hal1ax
46Bardo Pond
Lapsed


hal1ax
47The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Methodrone


hal1ax
48Adorable
Against Perfection


hal1ax
49Scarling.
So Long, Scarecrow


hal1ax
What strikes me about So Long, Scarecrow is how direct it is. Hewing closer to the noise pop end of the shoegaze spectrum, there is a strong sense of melody and songwriting with intense quiet-loud dynamics. The guitar textures and atmospherics are there, but most of the time they're not the most prominent aspect of the music. As the cover suggests, there's a darkly romantic and somewhat gothic feeling to a lot of this, the sense of drama bolstered by the singer's emotional lyrics and delivery. It's great stuff and I'll be returning to it quite a bit - there seems to be an emotional depth here that surpasses most other shoegaze I've heard.
Rating: 3.9
50The December Sound
The Silver Album


TheSpaceMan + UniqueUniverse
51The Verve
Verve


TheSpaceMan
+ A Storm in Heaven (UniqueUniverse)
52Bowery Electric
Beat


TheSpaceMan
53Niz
Stone


TheSpaceMan
54Autolux
Future Perfect


TheSpaceMan + UniqueUniverse
55Fleeting Joys
Despondent Transponder


TheSpaceMan
56Deerhunter
Weird Era Cont.


McMegaMountain
I’ve known most of Deerhunter’s discog for a good while now, but for some reason I never checked this one out when first getting into them. At that time I wasn’t really aware of shoegaze so it’s interesting to reevaluate their work now with that context. So if Weird Era Cont isn’t quite a full-on shoegaze album it certainly is a very strong influence on the sound (see songs such as “Vox Celeste” and “VHS Dream”). Structured as 12 short tracks leading up to the 10-minute closer Weird Era Cont can sometimes seem a bit lost within itself, but when viewed as a whole package it’s a very enjoyable work and a worthy addition to the Deerhunter oeuvre.
Rating: 3.5
57Yo La Tengo
Painful


zak
Despite never listening to them before, I was already well aware of this band's status as legends in the 90s indie rock canon, but I was unaware of their shoegazing tendencies. This is quite a diverse album, with tracks ranging from ambient dream pop to noise pop, alt-country-ish slowcore, and of course shoegaze. Excellent stuff overall even if there are a couple of relative duds. Definitely a band whose catalog I'll be delving farther into.
Rating: 4.2

+ I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One (UniqueUniverse)
58The Reegs
See My Friends


zak
59Spacemen 3
Taking Drugs (To Make Music To Take Drugs To)


zak + UniqueUniverse
Another band I’ve been meaning to get into for a while as Spiritualized’s Ladies and Gentlemen… is one of my favorite albums and this band was the precursor to them. Unfortunately this doesn’t grab me at all. I’ll excuse it some because it’s a compilation/bootleg but the recording quality is quite poor and at 75 minutes it really outstays its welcome. That said I can see how this album is important for shoegaze because while Spacemen 3’s sound is definitely rooted more in 60s garage and psych rock than in dream and noise pop there are moments where it devolves into a wall of sound and the vocals drift into the background and mix in with the rest of the music. Overall there are very few songs here that grab me, most of them have too staid and repetitive a groove and too generic melodies, and the vocals are rather weak throughout. Perhaps with better production and a shorter runtime I would enjoy this more but as is I don’t see myself revisiting this.
Rating: 2.5
60Black Swan Lane
The Last Time in Your Light


zak
61This Mortal Coil
It'll End in Tears


zak
This Mortal Coil is less a band than a loose collective of musicians from the 4AD label, and It’ll End in Tears consists of a mixture of cover songs and originals. As a result, the album unsurprisingly feels a bit uneven. Aside from Dead Can Dance and Cocteau Twins I’m not familiar with the musicians playing on this album, and I haven’t heard the original versions of any of the songs covered here either. For the most part these songs are very sparse and ethereal, consisting mostly of minimally distorted guitars and synths with occasional strings - very little in the way of percussion. The first half is more song-oriented whereas the latter is more ambient. However this vibe is broken at the end when “Not Me” comes in with its cheesy pop rock guitars and compressed drum machine - it’s disgustingly 80s and is completely out of place here. The best track is Elizabeth Fraser’s reading of “Song To the Siren”. Overall, this is good but too inconsistent to fall in love with.
Rating: 3.3
62The Telescopes
Taste


zak
63The Sundays
Reading, Writing and Arithmetic


zak
64Cocteau Twins
Heaven or Las Vegas


zak
65Stella Luna
Stargazer


Sinternet
This is a really excellent EP. Four tracks of loud fuzzy goodness and pretty, subdued vocals that flow together really well. There's a neat space rock influence here too - as its title indicates, this has its eyes aimed toward the sky as much as at its feet. All four tracks are great but the closer "A Bridge to Nowhere" is probably the best.
Rating: 3.8
66Actors and Actresses
Pyre


teamster
This is some really good post-gaze. The tracks mostly drift along at a medium pace with an emphasis on texture and though there are vocals they’re mostly in the background (which is to the album’s benefit, since they’re not very good and don’t really add anything to the overall experience). Nothing here is reinventing the wheel or anything but the band has a solid formula and a great sound and there’s enough interesting textures and climaxes to make it worth a solid few spins.
Rating: 3.5
67Klimt 1918
Sentimentale Jugend


teamster
68Last Leaf Down
Fake Lights


teamster
69Pinkshinyultrablast
Everything Else Matters


UniqueUniverse
70Lush
Spooky


UniqueUniverse + adr
Lush have a mostly bright and poppy but occasionally dark dream pop sound. They were clearly more indebted to the Cocteau Twins than many of the other shoegazers of the era, but for the most part they pull off their style well, even if it takes a couple listens to make an impression. My major criticism would be that the vocals, for the most part, aren’t quite blended enough with the rest of the instrumentation to give the wall of sound impression but aren’t up front enough to really stand out like they could.
Rating: 3.6
71Blonde Redhead
23


UniqueUniverse
72Minor Victories
Minor Victories


UniqueUniverse
Minor Victories is a supergroup consisting of members of Mogwai, Editors, and Rachel Goswell of Slowdive. I approach supergroups hesitantly as they often lead to projects with a lack of clear direction. Minor Victories, while good, unfortunately falls into this pitfall. Split almost 50/50 between relatively concise dream pop songs and longer, post-rock-esque ones the result is a somewhat scatterbrained mixture of styles and an uneven listening experience. I tend to prefer the longer songs, the final two tracks in particular are gorgeous, both building slowly to wonderful climaxes. The pop songs are decent but tend to feel a bit overproduced. The most misguided moment is "For You Always" where the band thought it would be a good idea to bring in Mark Kozelek. His quirky delivery mixes horribly with Rachel's and his lyrics draw the listener out of any immersion. Overall though it's a pleasant listen and the highs are good enough to warrant multiple listens.
Rating: 3.1
73Spiritualized
Lazer Guided Melodies


UniqueUniverse
74Pity Sex
Feast of Love


UniqueUniverse
+ White Hot Moon (Conmaniac)
75Sweet Trip
Velocity : Design : Comfort


UniqueUniverse
76A Place to Bury Strangers
A Place to Bury Strangers


UniqueUniverse
77Spectres
Dying


UniqueUniverse
78A Sunny Day in Glasgow
Sea When Absent


UniqueUniverse
Well this was...different. My first true "nu gaze" album, I am struggling to see the connection to the original shoegaze movement here. It sounds more like psychedelic synthpop than it does any shoegaze I've heard. The vocals are very melodic and also pretty up front but in a disorienting way. In fact "disorienting" is probably the best word I have to describe this. There's a lot going on in these songs and (at least on the first listen) it rarely comes together in an effective way. I will revisit and re-evaluate this but for now I'm not really feeling it.
Rating: 2.3
79Galaxie 500
On Fire


UniqueUniverse
Despite this being something of a classic in the slowcore and dream pop spheres (and influential on shoegaze - there isn’t anything here I’d say is quite shoegaze though there are moments that hint at it) I’m left feeling sort of lukewarm toward it. There’s a sort of rough around the edges feel to it that doesn’t appeal to me a whole ton - the singer has a good voice but the way he sings can be really grating at times, and when the guitars try to get more distorted the results aren’t terribly effective. The core of the material is good and there are some great songs, particularly “Another Day” where the female bassist takes over on lead vocals and the George Harrison cover “Isn’t It a Pity”, but on the whole it failed to captivate me.
Rating: 3.0
80DIIV
Oshin


UniqueUniverse
81Cheatahs
Cheatahs


UniqueUniverse
82The Black Ryder
Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride


UniqueUniverse
The Black Ryder have a good sound, I’ll give them that. Mixing a fairly standard shoegaze template with a psych tinge, Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride is never less than pleasant. The band even throws the listener for a turn in the second half, with songs like “The Greatest Fall” and “Sweet Come Down” which show an alt-country influence not unlike that of Mazzy Star and Mojave 3. Where The Black Ryder fail is in writing captivating songs. After a couple listens, I can barely remember anything about this other than that it was generally pleasant, but there were few moments that really impressed me.
Rating: 2.7
83Tokyo Shoegazer
Crystallize


UniqueUniverse
Right from the get-go, you just know that Tokyo Shoegazer mean business. If the not-so-subtle band name wasn’t enough, as soon as “299 Addiction” blasts out of the gates with its driving squalls of guitar noise, all illusions have already been thrown out the window: this is a shoegaze record through and through, and an awesome one at that. This might be the best approximation of My Bloody Valentine’s vast walls of noise that I’ve yet heard in shoegaze - but this is no MBV worship. The guitars manage to sound at once both dense and light, simultaneously pummeling you with their weight yet also lifting you up to the heavens. The band alternates masterfully between heavy sections and quieter dream pop and post-rock ones, and the vocals are always there to provide a gorgeous human element. While Crystallize doesn’t quite add any new tricks to the book, it’s a masterclass in all things great about shoegaze.
Rating: 4.1
84Moscow Olympics
Cut The World


UniqueUniverse
85The Smashing Pumpkins
Siamese Dream


UniqueUniverse
86Carissa's Wierd
Songs About Leaving


UniqueUniverse
I was a bit surprised to see this show up as a recommendation because I had always seen it mentioned as a slowcore album - I’m not complaining however because I’ve been meaning to get into more slowcore as well. Musically this is gorgeous, slowcore indeed with some very nice string touches and the expected depressing lyrics. The male and female vocalists play off of one another well, although I’m not always a huge fan of the female vocalist when she’s on her own. On the surface it’s an excellently made album but it falls short for me because it feels a bit too consciously depressing, as if the emotions are put-on rather than natural. In the right mood though I could see myself really falling for this.
Rating: 3.7
87Horseback
The Invisible Mountain


UniqueUniverse
88Deafheaven
Sunbather


plane
89Ringo Deathstarr
Colour Trip


protokute
90Silversun Pickups
Carnavas


Conmaniac
Carnavas plays as a standard alt-rock album that's been heavily fuzzed out. Most of the time it's good vibes and there are some pretty high highs. It loses me a bit with the singing, the guy's somewhat androgynous and emo-ish vocals are kind of a turnoff for me. These guys clearly really love their gaze but wanted to write hits too so they tried to do both, and most of the time it works. I just feel like they could have tried for a bit more. Feels like a grower, though.
Rating: 3.6
91The Spirit Of The Beehive
Pleasure Suck


Conmaniac
92Lift to Experience
The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads


Fripp
Well, fuck. This is insane. Imagine the epicness of GY!BE bound to a looser indie rock aesthetic with some Christian rock and a hint of space rock a la Spiritualized along with a bit of alt-country and folk and you can begin to understand what this album is like. Shoegaze is mostly just an influence here, some sections having dense and hazy atmospheres. It’s a massive suite all built around an insane narrative about the second coming of Christ, which, of course, is happening in Texas (where else?). The vocals flit between spoken word and an alluring half-melodic warble, sometimes in the space of a few lines. The guitars and drums play around, sometimes acting as purveyors of texture, sometimes jamming with an almost jazzy freedom, sometimes spinning out melodic lines. Honestly I don’t even know what to make of it but most of it was awe-inspiring stuff. Can’t pick out highlights because really it’s one complete experience. WE SHALL BE FREE
Rating: 4.5
93Airiel
Winks and Kisses


protokute
94Coaltar of the Deepers
Yukari Telepath


Aberf
95Candy Claws
Ceres And Calypso In The Deep Time


VaxXi
On first listen this did not work for me at all; with the strong emphasis on synths and a more modern, poppy sound I was reminded of A Sunny Day in Glasgow, and the overly compressed production didn’t help the album’s prospects at all. After a couple more listens however I am feeling a bit more positive toward it - the Latin music influences are interesting and unique and the very MBV-esque vocals work well enough, but it all gets a bit repetitive after a while and the whole thing blends together a bit too much for its own good as pretty much every track is built on the same framework. Despite being over-produced though the album makes for a mostly pleasant background listen, but I don’t feel too tempted to really sink into its depths.
Rating: 3.1
96Alison's Halo
Eyedazzler 1992-1996


Keyblade + SCREAM!
97Cloakroom
Time Well


Conmaniac
Solid album here. A lot of this has a sort of 90s feel to it, a bit more riffy and alt rock sounding than a lot of shoegaze I've heard. There are a fairly wide ranging amount of styles touched on here. Concrete Gallery has flavors of Slint, and the guitar sound in places reminds me a bit of that heard in the Elder album from this year. There are hints of slowcore and folk too towards the middle and second half of the album, particularly on the Sun Won't Let Go and the oddity Hymnal. Overall though I'm having a bit of difficulty really getting into this, despite the variety it's a bit overlong and it feels a bit emotionally disengaged.
Rating: 3.2
98Wood Lake
Hell


UniqueUniverse
99Whirr/Nothing
Split


Masochist
This doesn’t feel like a split as Whirr’s and Nothing’s styles are pretty similar. I have to say though, their takes on shoegaze aren't the ideal ones for me - I’ve heard a similar style from other bands such as Alter and Weed before, and to me at least this style of heavy rock is only shoegaze based on a strict application of the genre’s definition. Both of Whirr's songs are great, but Lean is particularly gorgeous, its melody great and its lyrics romantic and sad, and I love the post-rock-like outro that serves as a good transition between Whirr’s and Nothing’s sides. However, I’m not a fan of Nothing’s songs. They have a nice, crunchy guitar sound, but the songwriting style and vocals have an emo influence that I can't get being, and despite the heaviness their songs don’t sound like shoegaze to me - if you played them for me in isolation and asked me what genre they were I would definitely not say shoegaze.
Whirr side rating: 4
Nothing side rating: 2.5
Overall rating: 3.2
100Trespassers William
Different Stars


Masochist
101Kitchens Of Distinction
Strange Free World


protokute
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