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My Bloody Valentine: m b v

22-years-late follow-up from 90s guitar revolutionaries.

That My Bloody Valentine have, until now, failed to follow up 1991’s Loveless isn’t necessarily so surprising. After all, that album represented the most extreme point popular guitar music had reached in its history, one which no one outside of the avant garde, let alone MBV themselves, has exceeded since.

All popular guitar music nowadays follows templates set down over 30 years ago. MBV enriched its vocabulary, which is why they’ve been missed. Despite its long delay, m b v is no great leap forward, though it’s still aeons ahead of its 21st-century competition.

She Found Now immediately plunges us back into their familiarly unfamiliar, thick ether of woozy, bent chords, of songs bleeding internally, while Bilinda Butcher’s vocals on Only Tomorrow are as physically and emotionally numbed as ever.

There are tentative, experimental departures – the Michael Nyman-esque Is This And Yes, the almost jarringly Big Country-ish skirling of In Another Way and the exhilarating, early drum’n’bass-inspired phasing of Wonder 2 – but mostly this album functions as a reminder from the past of what the future should have sounded like.

My Bloody Valentine have made a My Bloody Valentine album. Now they should make another one. It’s overdue.

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.