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My Bloody Valentine Returns After 22 Years in the Swirly Mists

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My Bloody Valentine’s m b v

1991 was a particularly memorable year for rock music due to the release of three truly landmark LPs: Nirvana’s “Nevermind,” Slint’s “Spiderland” and My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless.”

We all know what happened to Nirvana. Slint promptly broke up under circumstances as mysterious and haunting as its music. And My Bloody Valentine just… disappeared.

Actually, MBV never went away. Kevin Shields, the reclusive Wizard of the MBV Oz, has stated regularly over the last 22 years (!!!) that a new MBV LP was somehow still in the works. When would it be released? Oh, who knows? Those infrequent dispatches were like transmissions from a distant planet, from an astronaut you know and love and never expect to see again.

Then last weekend came the unexpected news that the new MBV album for which so many people have waited a generation was suddenly available for purchase, as well as streaming for free on YouTube.

Needless to say, the interwebz immediately went coo-coo bananas, temporarily crashing the band’s site and filling up my Facebook feed with breathless ZOMG WTFery.

If you don’t know MBV, here’s a primer. They virtually invented the shoegaze genre. Their guitars swirl around to the point that they don’t even sound like guitars, but rather playful jet engines. The vocals are whispered, like echoes on a really loud shore. They play shows at such a high volume that it’s actually painful. (Their reunion show at NYC’s Roseland a few years back forced me to wear earplugs for the first and only time; it sounded and felt like the venue was actually going to blast off into space.) So essentially, they sound… well, you should start with “Loveless”  and then check out the new album, which conveniently enough is called m b v.

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