Review: When it was initially released three decades ago in the summer of 1990, Slowdive's eponymous debut EP was heralded as an instant shoegaze classic: a drowsy, dreamy collection of hazy wall-of-sound, reverb-drenched songs that put the Reading band right at the heart of a growing musical movement. As this 30th anniversary reissue proves, it remains a fine collection of cuts. While lead cut 'Slowdive', a more orthodox fusion of shoegaze, dream-pop and indie-rock, was the one that chimed with listeners at the time, it's the two-part soundscape 'Avalyn' - and in particular the epic 'Avalyn II' - that resonates loudest in the 21st century. The latter track is so good that it's worth buying the EP just to get your hands on it.
Review: The return of Slowdive has been one of the minor miracles of the 21st century thus far - having originally split up in a mist of disinterest and press opprobrium in the Britpop-damaged mid-'90s, the band have watched their profile and reputation slowly rise to the extent of them now being regarded as scene pioneers and innovators. True to its eponymous name, this album is the sound of these Thames Valley charmers re-asserting everything that made them magical in the first place a full quarter century on, not to mention a dizzying collision of ethereal harmonies, heavenly guitar cascades and opiated dreamstates possessed of a timeless allure.
Review: Reissues go one of two ways. Well, OK, maybe three. You're either left blown away by how fresh something sounds, reminded of a special moment in music history and how good an example a record is of that time capsule, or walk away wondering why you thought it was necessary to play, let alone buy, from this particular archive. As you'd hope, listening back to Slow Dive's seminal 'Just For A Day' fits into the second of those conclusions. Yes, soaring rock that seems to foster our dreams and fantasies in walls of power shoegaze does feel like a recollection rather than where we're at today. But my goodness do the epic arrangements and woozy artistry in the songcraft still sound as awesome, grandiose and yet personal as ever. One for the books, for sure.
Review: Originally unveiled in 1992, Blue Day represents one of the most exciting periods in the evolution of British shoegaze heroes Slowdive - their formative years. Comprising the first three EPs, or at least a good chunk of each and the entirety of the seminal Morningrise, it's less of a history lesson and more a reminder of just how well the seven-piece's music has stood the test of time.
There are some notable omissions, it's true. So the Slowdive songs here are missing 'Avalyn II'. And there's no 'Catch The Breeze' or cover of Syd Barrett's 'Golden Hair' included from Holding Our Breath. Still, with the ethereal yet jangly rock of 'She Calls', 'Losing Today''s dark, almost choral atmospherics, and the white noise and discordance of 'Albatross', ain't nobody complaining here.