Wednesday, September 3, 2008
12. Gazing at Cruel Shoes
So, over at this hideous forum for retards I (and several other of the posters here) frequent, someone asked, what's some shoegaze stuff I haven't heard? And I said, not only have you probably not heard of Medicine, but they might have actually cut MBV at their own game. Whereupon he opined that I was probably full of shit. The fact that I am, in fact, full of shit, is irrelevant here: Medicine was, dare I say it, better than MBV.
Facts: Brad Laner was the principal songwriter, and here is a guy who tried and tried until he got it right. He was in some late incarnation of Savage Republic, and from what I remember he was allowed to join because he just wouldn't go away, so they figured they might as well let him carry the gear and make rock faces on stage, the projections reflecting off his shiny forehead. After SR, he must have really studied the guitar, because from the very first moment of the very first song on Shot Forth Self Living, guitars get smeared and spiked to the breaking point. It's not just dicking around when he claims that everything was recorded in his living room, naked. Nor is he dicking around when he called his setup "The Lab of Happy Dreams."
But this isn't just noise. He lucked out getting Beth Thompson from Fourwaycross, who was great at sounding sultry while the music made lava floes and flaming iceburgs around her. It's a nice juxtaposition, but there's more: half the songs have frigging dance beats. Put it all together and Shot Forth Self Living and the somewhat less dancy follow-up The Buried Life are pretty god-damn unique. Although if you really want an MBV comparison, let's just say the two albums take the end of "Soon" and take it to the proverbial next level. And since Massuh Eno called that the perfect pop song, that's a mighty fine place to start.