“Am I supposed to feel something?” lead vocalist Jason Hendardy asks repeatedly on “Matter at Hand”. It’s an appropriate question to ask; I was thinking it to myself not long into Newly Wed Nearly Dead.
Permanent Collection are shoegazers, or at least that’s what the press materials and the album’s over-the-top murkiness will tell you. One of the true marvels of the genre, as performed by greats like My Bloody Valentine, is how haziness is rendered more beautiful than clarity. Loveless wouldn’t have attained the status it has today if the vocals of Shields and Butcher were understandable. It was as if there were new words in their wordlessness. However, when one undertakes making a shoegaze record, one doesn’t just muddy up the production value. Texture doesn’t just happen—it has to be fine-tuned to get the ideal sound.
These facts weren’t very much realized in the making of Newly Wed Nearly Dead. The guitar tracks here are awful, sounding totally flat instead of textural. Where exactly the line is between stylish lo-fi and lazy production I’m not sure, but this is very much the latter. This record is a case of an obvious artistic intention being riddled with rookie mistakes.