When it comes to shoegaze it’s hard to look beyond the heavy hitters MBV, Slowdive, the Pale Saints and Ride. Reading’s Chapterhouse also belong to this premier grouping due largely to their early wide eyed sonic manoeuvres. Despite issuing a wonderful single in ‘Mesmerise’ Chapterhouse completely lost the plot after their early EP’s and ‘Whirlpool’ had promised so much. That said the album was an inconsistent piece but threw up several classics of the genre. It opened in breakneck fashion with ‘Breather’, which sported Chapterhouse’s signature wispy vocals that could quickly be ushered to the heavens in a fluid tract of melody. In the background, foreground and all around were unspeakably beautiful guitars building cavernous sounds for the vocals to lurch mischievously. ‘Breather’ still sounds remarkably uplifting 16 years on and challenges the mighty ‘Pearl’ as the bands best work. ‘Whirlpool’ was re-released recently once the bands label noticed the vast sums that existing copies were fetching on auction sites. KD
Chapterhouse – Breather
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