#24 Slowdive – When The Sun Hits

Back in early nineties you could scarcely pick up a copy of Melody Maker or NME without some reference being made about this quintessential indie band. Slowdive were one of the prime movers (oh the irony) in the shoegaze scene and were responsible for some of the most eloquent bursts of primeval guitar squalls imaginable. The cover of their ‘Souvlaki’ album shows a solemn yet good-looking band, perfectly capturing the archetypal shoegaze inhabitants. The vocals for the most part were distant and measured affecting an antidote to the more uplifting arrangements. ‘When The Sun Hits’ is the distillation of the Slowdive sound with crafty guitar asides and bulbous bass eventually being overrun by a sweeping tornado of noise that matches one their earlier tunes ‘Catch The Breeze’ heartbreaking finale. The songs progression is unusually athletic with the boy/girl interplay keeping pace with the incendiary accompaniments. Given the fact that much of the shoegaze scene’s output has dated poorly ‘When The Sun Hits’ remains surprisingly contemporary. Perhaps the band was really onto something special but ‘Pygmalion’, the limp follow-up to ‘Souvlaki’, prematurely ended the affair and its incumbents set off on various other projects. Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell have been the most successful to date with their Mojave 3 collective continually unearthing albums of worth. KD

Slowdive – When The Sun Hits

Album: Souvlaki
Year: 1993
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