While recently reviewing the latest disc of electronic shoegaze from Ulrich Schnauss, I couldn’t help feeling that it seemed a shame to lose all of shoegaze’s original noisiness in his reverb-washed synth lines. It all just felt a little too smooth and polished, a little too easy. Fortunately, the Netherlands’ Loden restores my faith: electronically-augmented shoegaze need not be clinically clean. On the contrary, his Valeen Hope is alive with searing tape hiss and digital crunch, huge chords glimmering with grit and static throughout. He even manages to turn out an encouraging level of variety start to finish. “Vlugt” opens as a pulsing static wash and builds into insistent noise-pop glory, while “Sugar Tea” wastes no time before launching into overdriven guitar riffs, glockenspiel, and layers of streaking synthlines. “Tears for the Thirsty” waits its entire length to reveal its full, driving bassline. The bleary arpeggios of “Our Exploding Lives” suggests Black Moth Super Rainbow. It’s a little scattered, but the gleefully noisy production and solid rock inflections link it all together into an intelligible whole.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.
// Sound Affects
"Natalie Hemby's Puxico is a standout debut from a songwriter who has been behind the scenes for over a decade.READ the article