23 Nov

1991 was an amazing year for music as grunge music appeared changed the entire landscape. But in November of 1991, around my birthday, came an album from a lesser genre that made some headway during that time period. That genre was the oddly titled Shoegaze. Named for their lack of vibrant performances, shoegaze made up for their stillness with an amazing wall of sound. When I think of shoegaze, I think of musicians trying to fill all the available space with guitar sounds. Back then I enjoyed bands like Chapterhouse, Slowdive and Swervedriver. It wouldn’t be for a couple of years before I learned about My Bloody Valentine. My Bloody Valentine were the shoegaze archetype. It was as if you took the new wave songs of the time, scraped the vocals of their prettiness leaving only something ambient and then turned up the guitars and added some effects. Lots of effects.

It’s so amazing to look at 1991. Most people look back and think of this time as metal getting put on the shelf while grunge roared in, but it was much more than that. Bands were experimenting everywhere. You had Nine Inch Nails; Soundgarden; Motorhead had put out the amazing “1916” album; Queen released “Innuendo”; Enigma; N.W.A.; Smashing Pumpkins; Primus’ “Sailing the Seas of Cheese”; Pearl Jam; The Pixies “Trompe Le Monde”… I could go on and on about this year. There are so many amazing albums that I haven’t even mentioned yet and great bands that broke out during that year. A band like My Bloody Valentine is icing on the cake. I may have missed out on them in 1991 but I’m glad I looked back.

Song 1085: “Only Shallow” by My Bloody Valentine



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