Love it or hate it, the 90s revolutionised rock and metal. A few years before Seattle spat out grunge, the shoegaze style of Slowdive, Ride and more was influencing not just the early emotional hardcore bands, but also dreamy alt-rock acts like Smashing Pumpkins.
Having already returned to make inroads into black metal, it’s now also being revived by US four-piece Big Jesus. In fact, their debut is so authentic, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d put on some unreleased early Pumpkins tunes by accident.
Always and Oneirica recreate the sort of dreamy fuzz that gave the Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream its distinctive texture, while Shrimp and Shards walk the razor’s edge of My Bloody Valentine and even Joy Division. Alkaline Trio producer Matt Hyde keeps the modern polish to a minimum, and builds up the dynamics of each track before allowing them to float to the final notes of gorgeous finale Heaviest Heart. Big Jesus prove you don’t need beefy guitar solos and monster riffs to create a cinematic sound.