1) Only Shallow
Tucker Phillips: The most important snare hits there ever were, or will be. I think I just now realized that this isn’t Kevin singing.
Jackson Scott: I imagine that intro is what the rest of the 90’s heard when they listened to Nevermind for the first time.
TP: That intro started bands. THOSE DRUM HITS CAUSED BANDS TO HAPPEN.
JS: Tucker, that’s Billinda singing.
TP: I know that now :'(. I’ve never really listened to this on headphones before.
JS: How did you not know that before?
TP: God that riff sounds like the guitarpocalypse.
JS: How many of you are staring at your feet right now?
TP: I’m in my socks, thank you very much.
JS: …me too.
Michael Frett: I’ve been staring at my shoes for a good three minutes now…
JS: Have you started seeing things yet?
MF: Guys, that riff is insane. GUYS. THAT RIFF.
TP: YOUR GRANDMA’S PINK ALBUMS DON’T HAVE RIFFS LIKE THOSE, I TELL YOU WHAT.
JS: That guitar sounds seasick.
TP: This riff at the beginning sounds like what I imagine the satanists in Rosemary’s Baby are playing through the wall. There’s so much going on here.
JS: You hear that sound that the guitar is making where it’s all WOOOGLLY? KEVIN SHIELDS INVENTED THAT.
TP: I wonder how much of it was a happy accident and how much of it was fussed over.
MF: The man can woogle a guitar.
JS: I think it’s a modified whammy or something, isn’t it?
TP: This could be a grand piano for all I know.
TP: MBV do black and white film soundtrack. Candy Claws owe their life to this 1 minute song.
4) To Here Knows When
TP: This is one of my favorites. The main melody is just so gosh-darned winsome. And then you’ve got the waterfall crashing down on you.
JS: This is mind-numbing.
MF: It’s like someone took an 80s pop song and totally drowned it in awesome.
TP: That sounds about right. MBV were actually a goth-rock Cure-wannabes thing at some point. They have a lot of early stuff that people don’t talk about a lot.
MF: I can definitely hear the Cure influence.
TP: BOY. BOY. OH BOY.
JS: Isn’t Anything was their first LP.
TP: They’ve got like 10 pre-Anything EPs. It’s a dark, dark hole to fall down.
JS: I saw some super rare one in some record store once but it was like $40.
MF: Why such a dark hole?
TP: Not enough wishy-washies.
MF: I mean, it warranted the repeating of “dark”. So it must be dark.
TP: You’ll have to do your own investigating on that one.
JS: It is amazing how many rules My Bloody Valentine broke with this record.
TP: It’s hard to think about since they were so early in the scene. Like, other bands broke the same rules but only after they’d already been broken.
JS: But even now though.
TP: God, that ending riff.
JS: But, like, this is basically a glitch album.
TP: I hear ya.
MF: I just love the crazy stuff people can pull off on a guitar. That reverb and whammy combo.
TP: Cue vacuum cleaners.
JS: It’s predominantly distortion and extra-musical texturization. Na mean?
TP: Yes. No. I don’t know.
5) When You Sleep
TP: This might be my favorite. I say that about all of them. But this might be my favorite.
JS: That’s how you know.
MF: I still think “Only Shallow” is my favorite.
TP: There are many favorites to come, young Michael.
JS: “Only Shallow” is one of my favorite songs of all time.
MF: I like the thundery riff thing Mr. Shields had going on.
TP: I feel like, at their best, Yo La Tengo just start to barely capture what’s going on in this song. And I love YLT.
JS: Most years on Valentine’s Day this is my facebook cover photo. Kevin Shields must hate Valentine’s Day.
TP: I realize the My Bloody Valentine’s Day thing is a joke but goddamn if this isn’t one romantic song. Swooning.
6) I Only Said
TP: Guys. I think this might be my favorite.
JS: That rifffff.
TP: It’s abandoned everything it means to be a guitar riff and ascended to another plane.
MF: I really like that simple bass line in the background.
JS: Didn’t even notice that before. Nice catch. It’s like the first time I realized the bass line in the first song on Is This It?
TP: I feel so bad for the bassist and the drummer. Just kinda…doin’ they thang. A lot of these songs have a EXCUSE ME THAT CHANGE IN VOLUME real sense of calm inside a storm.
JS: That sounds too much like soft rock.
MF: Easy to get lost in.
JS: Loveless has a very physical quality about it. A certain tangibility.
TP: But also crazy dream guitars.
JS: A tangibility you can… touch.
TP: Tangible tangibility, yo. My poetry zine.
JS: My dreams don’t sound like this.
TP: YOU’RE DREAMING WRONG.
7) Come In Alone
TP: This is probably the one that’s my favorite the least. It’s still my favorite. But, you know, not as much.
MF: I’m digging this.
JS: Those drums. Sound unreal.
MF: It’s more straightforward than the other songs, though.
JS: Mere pop.
TP: A trifle. I demand more ART from my ART.
JS: Top 40s at best.
TP: Pish posh.
JS: Bish Bosch.
MF: But, I like this Pish Posh, though!
TP: Hey, like I said. It’s my favorite.
JS: Loveless is like Bish Bosch with 100% less fart noises.
TP: There could be fart noises. We just wouldn’t know.
MF: Kevin Shields in the studio: “Quick! Reverb and overdrive this fart sound!”
TP: Let ol’ Kev play you a purdy song on his guitar. Maybe the only time guitars sound like guitars on this thing?
JS: I love whatever chord that is.
TP: Check out THIS….same chord. HOW BOUT THAT BUSINESS.
JS: Do you think My Bloody Valentine knew?
TP: That they were making what they were making? Hard to say.
TP: They were probably so deep in at some point.
JS: Also, the more I listen to this the more I hate Nevermind. I know that’s not fair, but…
TP: YOU LEAVE IN UTERO ALONE THOUGH
JS: In Utero is something special.
MF: This actually made me want to listen to Nevermind more. So, you know, totally opposite side of the aisle on this one.
TP: MY BLOODY VALENTINE: SOMETIMES YOU WANNA LISTEN TO SOME STUFF BUT OTHERS DON’T. It’s tattooed on the back of Kevin’s skull.
MF: Also, they seem like such an awkward comparison. This one’s all “FEEDBACK DREAMSCAPES,” while the other’s all “HERE’S SOME POWER CHORDS FOR YOU!”
JS: I get the retrospective attitude toward Nevermind, but how can, if you were aware of Loveless, think that Nevermind was the most original piece of rock music ever?
TP: I don’t. :^)
JS: You don’t what?
TP: Think about Nevermind ever.
MF: I don’t look at Nevermind as the most original piece of rock music ever, though. It was just an important grungey punk album.
TP: This is an important Nirvanate. But we must move on.
9) Blown a Wish
TP: This lady’s voice right here.
JS: #angels. Billinda, be my valentine.
TP: “k”. And they lived shoegazily ever after.
JS: Oh hey Bilinda, I was just practicing for when I saw you in the hallway.
TP: The most musical inhale ever is happening in this song right now.
MF: I like them cathedral guitars. They’ve got an other-worldly echo.
JS: Otherworldly or… more worldly than anything else.
TP: You guys the vocals thing that is happening right now is pretty great.
MF: I loved that vocal thing going on in the end there.
10) What You Want
TP: You think Kevin ever sits down and watches baseball? Couple a brewskies close at hand?
JS: I’m sure. Why baseball? Do you think Kevin Shields ever sits down?
TP: It’s the shoegaziest sport.
MF: It was what he want. I’m liking those ascending chords.
JS: What’s inside Kevin Shield’s shoes?
TP: More shoes.
MF: All the more to gaze at.
JS: My favorite part about this album is how it is always in motion.
MF: It doesn’t really break at all, does it?
TP: Just “Touched”. But it’s only a minute. A lot of people have 0 love for “Touched” but I think it fits in well.
JS: This is one of the most kinetic albums I’ve ever heard. I like “Touched”.
TP: I cannot wait for this next song. It’s unfair to this song.
JS: That decay. Again.
TP: But that coda doe.
JS: Coda. Doe.
TP: I’d listen to a whole album that sounded like this.
JS: Me too.
TP: GOD. DAMN.
JS: “Loveless” the song.
TP: I have to imagine (and I can’t know) that the 90s would have sounded a lot different without this song. Or at least, a lot of 90s music I love would never have happened.
JS: The 90s is kind of the best decade.
JS: Followed by the current decade.
TP: AND WHICH TWO DECADES HAD MAJOR MBV RELEASES IN THEM? The clues are falling into place.
MF: 1960s, then 1990s, then now. Tis my list.
JS: 80s hip-hop and hardcore punk.
TP: I want that lighter guitar riff on my gravestone when I die.
MF: Acidwash Edge. That’s the vibe I’m getting from it.
JS: I’m starting to see in all pink.
TP: Seek mbvical attention.
JS: Everything is woozy.
TP: This sounds like MBV remixing MBV.
MF: “Soon (The MBV Remix)”
TP: Good way to stop the show.