She Found Now
Having collaborated with the likes of Primal Scream and Patti Smith, it’s clear that Kevin Shields has an unwavering desire to keep up with the times. It’s no surprise, then, to hear Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. on m b v’s joyous opening number. First performed at My Bloody Valentine’s half-time Super Bowl extravaganza, ‘She Found Now’ is an urgently contemporary disco number which proves that even in middle age Shields remains the incontestable queen of the dance floor.
My Bloody Valentine have been working on this album for over a decade, and apparently this track took longer than any other to complete. Like many of us, Shields developed an appreciation of dubstep in the mid-noughties and consequently became obsessed with incorporating elements of this exciting new genre into his own band’s sound. After spending two years painstakingly mastering ‘Only Tomorrow’, the track was sent to Burial for remixing. Shields then added further instrumentation before sending the song to Skrillex, who obligingly re-remixed the track. Still unhappy with the results, Shields then spent eight months without sleep overdubbing the WOBWOBWOBs with some pleasantly meditative guitar washes. The result speaks for itself.
Who Sees You
During My Bloody Valentine’s hiatus, Shields sporadically toured with Glaswegian electro-rock heroes Primal Scream. Shields returned the gesture by asking ‘Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie to supply guest vocals for this jarringly anarchic cyber-punk anthem. For this track, the lyrical themes explored by Gillespie include: “Bombs bombs bombs... Suicide Sid got a date with the reaper... He’s like a death-wish junkie Jesus with a shotgun syringe... maaan... Hey! Come on! Come aaaaaaaaawwwwn!... Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Street fightin’ satisfaction! Alright!... Revolution needle / Revolution needle... Prostitute baby burning Cadillac zombies... thriftstore, sidewalk, aluminium bluuuuuuuuues...” Aluminium is pronounced the American way. The vocals were recorded in Gillespie’s home in Islington, N1. Kate Moss attended the recording session for no reason whatsoever.
A faithful cover of Pig Destroyer’s uncompromising grindcore classic. Startlingly guttural vocal turn from Bilinda Butcher.
If I Am
Ah, the nervously anticipated Chris Brown duet. Should this woman-beater be forgiven? Should Brown have shown more remorse? Should Kevin Shields have him back? Should we care? Moral qualms aside, a pleasant enough melody but Kevin overdoes it with the autotune.
Ah, the nervously anticipated Lance Armstrong duet. Should this massive drug cheater be forgiven? Should Armstrong have shown more remorse? Should Kevin Shields have him back? Should we care? Moral qualms aside, a pleasant enough melody but Armstrong’s overly vigorous employment of the percussive modified handlebar bell suggests he might still be doping.
In Another Way
Finally betraying their age, My Bloody Valentine’s ‘In Another Way’ seems a little too stuck in the past. With such an inventive, unrelenting flow, Kendrick Lamar’s verse is indisputably fresh. Unfortunately, the guest chorus belted out by an unruly Heather Small is soooooo 1993.
A bit of a Creation Records reunion this one. ‘Nothing Is’ features a special extended MBV line-up including the blokes from Teenage Fanclub, a couple of Boo Radleys, the drummer from Ride, Kevin Rowland (in ladies’ knickers), Alan McGee (hyperbolically grunting), and Liam Gallagher of The Beady Eyes. They don’t really gel.
Semi-acoustic Hawaiian ukulele number with soft brass accompaniment. Unfortunately, the lack of feedback means you can actually hear Kevin and Bilinda’s weak, weak voices.
m b v is pretty similar to the band’s previous releases only with greater emphasis on post-rhythmic quasi-industrial caucasian ragga.