My Bloody Valentine

White Light, White Heat, White Noise, White Power! Oh okay, not white power.
*special introductory paragraph!
*This Is Your Bloody Valentine EP
*Geek! EP
*The New Record By My Bloody Valentine EP
*Sunny Sundae Smile EP
*Ecstasy & Wine
*Untitled [You Made Me Realise] EP
*Isn't Anything
*Untitled [Feed Me With Your Kiss] EP
*Glider EP
*Tremolo EP
*Loveless

During their peak, My Bloody Valentine were one of the leaders of tbe British "shoegazer" movement, a collection of really lush, guitar droney romantic songwriters and boring as hell concert performers. They had male and female dueling vocals and dealt out a death blow of wave after wave of delayed, layered electric guitars playing droning, pulsing, soothing sounds that even the late great Jackie Gleason would approve of. They also put out around eightytwelve gabillion EPs before their debut full-length Isn't Anything, but those don't matter because as everybody knows, an EP isn't a real record any more than a woman is a real person.


This Is Your Bloody Valentine EP - Tycoon 1985
Rating = 3

Who would have guessed that My Bloody Valentine started out sounding like The Cramps!? Nobody. Not even the people who were there at the time, listening to them.

The most American-sounding music ever recorded in Berlin by an Irish band that had just left Holland and would soon to relocate to Britain, this 7-song, 25-minute EP features the original MBV line-up of reverb-friendly guitarist Kevin Shields, hilariously spelled drummer Colm O'Ciosoig, short-lived keyboardist Tina and badly affecting singer Dave Conway. The songs are a mixture of menacing, dark-toned American musics (tuff '60s garage rock, western surf/spy/twang, gothic psychobilly) played on heavily-reverbed electric guitar, '60s-toned keyboard and drummy drums, topped with downright rotten vocals by a gentle young Irishman who tries valiantly to sound like a dark Lux Interior/Nick Cave/Dave Vanian gothic crooner but lacks the ability to correctly hit any correct notes while doing so. The funny thing is that while listening, I kept thinking to myself "He sounds like Jeffrey Lee Pierce." But then I'd correct myself, "No, Jeffrey Lee Pierce didn't sing in a dark gothic croon. Why do I keep thinking of him?" Finally, it hit me -- it's because Jeffrey Lee Pierce never sang a correct note in his life either! In this way, I mocked the dead.

Compounding the problem is that the EP is more than half-comprised of completely generic examples of the garage rock, gothic psychobilly and western surf/spy/twang subgenres. Although the inclusion of near-subliminal higher-pitched (female?) backup vocals is aurally pleasing, future sonic genius Kevin Shields didn't bother writing any guitar riffs that weren't already run into the ground by folks like Link Wray three decades earlier, so essentially, if you've heard the Cramps, you already know how most of these songs go. Except now they go there with worse vocals.

Of the three songs that make and take a confident break from these stylistic constraints, one is the Birthday Party covering "Whole Lotta Love" with new lyrics. It's neat how My Bloody Valentine found a tape of this and put it on their album as their own song. But bands are always 'taking the wool' and 'pulling the piss' like that. Remember those good songs on Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness? Those were Pink Floyd outtakes from 1977, with that inflatable pig on vocals.

Finally, after 16 and a half of the worst minutes of your life, My Bloody Valentine pull two really fantastic songs out of nowhere. "Inferno" is still garage rock sure, but with a well-constructed series of chord changes that whip the listener's heart back and forth through feelings of happiness, sorrow and everything in between, including and limited to average temperateness. "The Last Supper" is possibly even gooder, with a cool '60s soul vibe not found anywhere else in the MBV catalog. Moody, soulful and romantic, this song has truly shitty vocals.

So if you like generic psychobilly combined with a tiny tone-deaf man trying to sound tough and sexy, look no further than Glenn Danzig singing "Human Fly" in his shower.

Reader Comments

bougops@bu.edu (Greg Bougopoulos)
5/10. Listening to this now will shock some. This is extremely far from the beautiful sound that MBV developed for Isn't Anything, let alone Loveless. Instead, with original lead singer Dave Conway in tow, the band's sound is more like The Gun Club led by Glenn Danzig, with a little Nick Cave thrown in for good measure. See, Dave obviously feels indebted to Mr. Cave, so much so that he deepens his voice to sound, oh I don't know, spooky. The album doesn't work very well, mostly because of Conway, but also because the music is rather derivative. The band's Birthday Party-ish song "Don't Cramp My Style" is simply awful, for instance, and a few others are merely okay. However, "Tiger In My Tank" is a pretty good song, as is "Forever and Again." But this is really a much different band, sounding nothing like the future My Bloody Valentine. Take it as a document as a band's first step into eventual greatness.

Basically all of the band's pre-Isn't Anything material is out of print, but in lieu of spending a great deal of time searching them out, go to www.expectdelay.com/mbv/mediaclips.html to hear the songs in mp3 format.

useless_creep@hotmail.com (Steve)
I've always thought that I could hear some underlying goth influence in MBV's music. It's hard to explain why; there was a certain element of the music that I couldn't quite put my finger on. So I finally got ahold of an import of this album, and much to my surprise... they started out as a standard goth band! Most of this stuff sounds like they decided to steal the most obvious aspects of the Birthday Party's sound and then toned them waaaay down(which, when you think about it, is an accurate description of goth bands in general). I'd give this a 5.

edm1213@msn.com
I first heard the Dave Conway era MBV stuff on a compliation of the 4 EPs before Bilinda called Your Bloody Rarities vol. 1 (Vol. 2 would cover Ecstasy and Wine, You Made Me Realise and Feed Me With Your Kiss). I can say the pre-Bilinda period does nothing for me. Nothing. a) Conway's voice is so-so (Nick Cave is a good comparison, but lacking in something he has definitely) and b) Shields hadnt developed his guitar style yet. Also c) the songs just aren't that good. There, I guess i broke it down the best i can. While MBV are at least a little less secretive about their formative early/mid 80s period than, say, Pantera, there's nothing fans of MBV's later sound are missing by not checking this out. Whereas 80s Pantera was still a lot of fun with some damn good shredding by the late Dimebag. There's nothing to recommend here. Start with Ecstasy and Wine instead (if you can find it), or else Isnt Anything. 4/10 for all the pre-Bilinda EPs.

Add your thoughts?

Geek! EP - Fever 1985.
Rating = 6

Who would have guessed that My Bloody Valentine started out sounding like The Dwarves!? Nobody. Because they didn't. Yet, at the same time, they did. No no, let me explain. No, no.

The Dwarves' earliest recordings (collected on the Lick It compilation) are pissed-off reverb-drenched '60s garage punk rockers. And so is this My Bloody Valentine EP! The only difference is the Dwarves singer doesn't sound like an idiot.

The first two songs on here, sleazy catchy Crampser "No Place To Go" and melodic garage popper "Moonlight," are terrific retroactive musical experiences drenched in a hilariously overdone hiss-bath of reverbed white noise. Though still handicapped by Conway's trying-too-hard vocal style, both would fit perfectly onto a Nuggets or Pebbles compilation alongside such genuine yesteryear chestnuts as "Five Years Ahead Of My Time" and "Like A Dribbling Fram." The third song is unfortunately a bit less interesting (though it features a nice vocal melody for a change), and "Sandman Never Sleeps" is so bad that Michael Jackson named an album after it (Bad). He also molested a little boy with cancer.

For this recording, keyboardist Tina hit the road and was replaced by bassist Debbie Googe, who would remain with the band all the way through Loveless and probably would have stayed longer had Kevin Shields not decided to shove his guitar up his ass for 15 years afterwards.

And, not that it matters much, but Conway does hit the notes better this time out (aside from "Sandman Never Sleeps"), which helps. And they're still throwing those higher-pitched (female?) backup vocals into the mix, a lovely sonic ear-flower hinting that Shields' mind wasn't as far away from the Loveless sound as it might appear at first ear-glance.

From now on, I'm just going to use any word I want and put "ear-" at the beginning. In this way, I will challenge the world of fools and its dictionary of assholes. Ex. "The ear-anvil of Master Of Puppets soon gave way to the ear-sock of Load, the ear-ache of St. Anger, and the ear-ly warning system of World War III. AUGH!!! MY EYES!!!!"

"NO NO, MY EAR-EYES!!!"

Somebody patent that 'ear-ache' word for me, that's a good one.

Reader Comments

bougops@bu.edu (Greg Bougopoulos)
2/10. A big difference from the last one. This is much more Jesus and Mary Chain influenced, what with the white noise looming in the background. Unfortunately, it is also much worse than the debut. See, at least that release had some good stuff on it. This has nothing good. The production is also simply awful, putting Conway's annoying vocals and the white noise way up front, and relegating everything else in the background. There might be some nice backing vocals but they can barely be heard on here. Sure, there are some good moments on a few of the songs, but Conway ruins any momentum in the songs when he starts to sing, and the white noise is grating. Call this the band's worst release ever and a really disgusting one at that.

Add your thoughts?

The New Record By My Bloody Valentine EP - Kaleidoscope Sound 1986
Rating = 6

Talk about a misnomer - this thing came out 20 years ago! Come on people, get the dick out of your nose before you name your EPs.

This morning at the local market, I thought of a great new way to great female acquaintances and co-workers. From now on, whenever a woman says to you "Hello!" or "Good morning!" or "Hi! How are you?," look around embarrassedly and respond out of the corner of your mouth, "Jeez, keep it in your pants." I predict that women will love this greeting, and buy two copies.

Who would have guessed that My Bloody Valentine started out sounding like The Smiths!? Actually, I guess that's not hard to believe. But who would have guessed they would so quickly and unexpectedly shift their entire raison d'etre from slick-haired '60s gothbilly garage rock to pussy music for fags and gay people (lesbos)? Going British with a vengeance, MBV herein acts as if it had never even liked The Cramps in the first place and was just pretending to as a joke. Though still obscured by clouds of white noise (I should probably stop mentioning the reverbed hiss all together, since it appears on every record they ever made), the music is now sweet uptempo la-de-da pop music. Even Conway has dumped his affect to reveal a cheery fey British singer hiding underneath -- the guy apparently had the ability to sound like Ray Davies or Syd Barrett all along!

The songs aren't that great though. Or rather, 3 of the 4 are "Marr"-ed (HA HA!) by sickeningly sugary Smiths-style chord changes during key moments: note the cavity-drilling chorus of the otherwise pleasant "Lovelee Sweet Darlene," the dull 1-4-5 fruitpop verse of "By The Danger In Your Eyes," and the way "On Another Rainy Saturday" starts off as a Ramones ripoff (and thus a GREAT SONG) before turning into girl-friendly romantic love dogdoo. But there are no complete throwaway songs here -- they all at least have their moments, and lots of hissy reverbed noise.

Still, the real trophy of the set is closing track "We're So Beautiful," whose dissonant guitar breaks represent another step towards the discombobulating wash of bendy noise that would soon define the band and make them a star. Granted, the rest of the song is basic chord-pop, but it has a good vocal melody and is slightly less attracted to men than the others.

Well, Christmas is just around the corner and you know what that means - it's time for Mark Prindle's First Annual Hilarious Christmas Song Parodies! Yes, Bob Rivers may think he has the market cornered on unfunny Yuletide "Weird Al" bullshit, but this year there's a new rocketeer with his hand on the rocket ship steering wheel, and that man is none other than Steve "Mark Prindle"! So buckle up -- it's going to be a wilde rid!

DECK THE BALLS (Parody of "Deck The Halls")
Deck the balls with bows of holly
Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!
'Tis the season something something fuck you

Well, we're getting off to a rousing start here at Mark Prindle's First Annual Hilarious Christmas Song Parodies! But don't touch that (computer) dial! There's plenty more coming up....

O TANNING BED (Parody of "O Tannenbaum")
O tanning bed, o tanning bed
You turned some girl all brown
O tanning bed, o tanning bed
Her ashes float all around
She's burning up, and screaming blood
I have a 26-inch pud
O tanning bed, o tanning bed
Can't that burnt bitch keep it down?
(my PUD, that is!!!!)
(that last part is a bawdy aside)

SANTA CLAUS IS CUMMING ALL BROWN (Parody of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town")
You'd better watch out
You'd better not dread
'cuz Santa fell asleep
on aforementioned tanning bed
Now Santa Claus is cumming all brown
He's lifting his balls
And checking for lice
He's gonna find out
If your mother's a whore
Santa Claus is cumming all brown
He squirts you when you're sleeping
He (etc.)

DING-DONG SMELLS (Parody of "Jingle Bells")
Ding-dong smells
Ding-dong smells
Stinking from here to high heaven
Oh what fun
it is to get
gonnorhea at age 11
Oh! Ding-d(etc.)

THE TWELVE STAGES OF SYPHILIS (Parody of "The Twelve Days Of Christmas")
In the first stage of syphilis,
my true love gave to me
a skin lesion on my pee-pee!

In the second stage of syphilis,
my true love gave to me
swollen lymph nodes and
a skin lesion on my pee-pee!

In the third stage of syphilis,
my true love gave to me
a rash on my palms,
swollen lymph nodes and
a skin lesion on my pee-pee!

In the fourth stage of syphilis,
my true love gave to me
mucous in my mouth,
a rash on my palms,
swollen lymph nodes and
a skin lesion on my pee-pee!

In the fifth stage of syphilis,
my true love gave to me
Condylomata Lata!
Mucous in my mouth,
a rash on my palms,
swollen lymph nodes and
a skin lesion on my pee-pee!

In the sixth stage of syphilis,
my true love gave to me
sore throat and fever,
Condylomata Lata!
Mucous in my mouth,
a rash on my palms,
swollen lymph nodes and
a skin lesion on my pee-pee!

In the seventh stage of syphilis,
my true love gave to me
fatigue and weight loss,
sore throat and fever,
Condylomata Lata!
Mucous in my mouth,
a rash on my palms,
swollen lymph nodes and
a skin lesion on my pee-pee!

In the eighth stage of syphilis,
my true love gave to me
acute meningitis,
fatigue and weight loss,
sore throat and fever,
Condylomata Lata!
Mucous in my mouth,
a rash on my palms,
swollen lymph nodes and
a skin lesion on my pee-pee!

In the ninth stage of syphilis,
my true love gave to me
soft granulomas,
acute meningitis,
fatigue and weight loss,
sore throat and fever,
Condylomata Lata!
Mucous in my mouth,
a rash on my palms,
swollen lymph nodes and
a skin lesion on my pee-pee!

In the tenth stage of syphilis,
my true love gave to me
joint degeneration,
soft granulomas,
acute meningitis,
fatigue and weight loss,
sore throat and fever,
Condylomata Lata!
Mucous in my mouth,
a rash on my palms,
swollen lymph nodes and
a skin lesion on my pee-pee!

In the eleventh stage of syphilis,
my true love gave to me
chronic dementia
joint degeneration,
soft granulomas,
acute meningitis,
fatigue and weight loss,
sore throat and fever,
Condylomata Lata!
Mucous in my mouth,
a rash on my palms,
swollen lymph nodes and
a skin lesion on my pee-pee!

In the twelfth stage of syphilis,
my true love gave to me
death

Reader Comments

bougops@bu.edu (Greg Bougopoulos)
4/10. Well, this EP is certainly better than Geek!, even if that background white noise is way too much. Conway gets rid of his deep baritone and starts to just sing. Unfortunately, his vocals on the opener "Lovelee Sweet Darlene" are no better than those of "Sandman Never Sleeps" from Geek!. His lyrics are still not too strong either (You're Chemistry is attractive to me"? C'mon). Also, Colm O'Ciosoig's drumming on "By the Danger In Your Eyes" is way too clumsy. Still, the songs were improving and the MBV sound is showing its development here.

Add your thoughts?

Sunny Sundae Smile EP - Lazy 1987.
Rating = 3

Who would have guessed that My Bloody Valentine started out sounding like The Association!? As you might have wagered by the vomitously cheery title, Sunny Sundae Smile finds MBV at an all-time rainbow innocent love anti-depressant high. BLEAH! Too much SUNNINESS and SMILES! I turn to music for DEATH and VIOLENCE! How am I supposed to enjoy songs that aren't filled with HORROR and PAIN!? Come on people, if you're going to write songs, make them GRIM AND BLOODY and SO FILLED WITH HOPELESSNESS that YOU WANT TO KILL YOURSELF!

"Kiss The Eclipse" is good; it's gentle and loving without being over-the-top girly. But the others are unforgivably cutesy, bouncy, happy jangle-pop (with trebly high-pitched fuzz guitars). What's up with these hippies? Don't they understand America's diabetes problem?

Here are a bunch of movies I've seen lately. You?

Halloween II - Much scarier than I'd remembered! I guess the first time I saw it, I hadn't seen many slashers so it seemed weak in comparison to those I'd seen. Now that I've seen tons of shitty slashers, this feels like a masterpiece! Okay, not a masterpiece, but definitely scary. The music is particularly creepy, as is the pumpkin/skull during the opening credits. Michael acts too much like a zombie though.

Tomie - I'd heard it was dull, but I liked it quite a bit! I didn't understand the ending, but that's par for the course with these Asian horror films.

Talladega Nights - Funny! The bonus outtakes on the DVD were hilarious too. I'm told the figure skater movie stinks though.

Funny Money - Chevy Chase's latest movie. Not bad! Kooky hijinks abound. Apparently he's a complete prick in real life though.

The Killing Fields - Honestly, a film about the Khmer Rouge ought to be a lot more disturbing than this. Plus that guy with the beard is an asshole.

Carnival Of Souls - Really eerie! See this classic of yesteryear!

The Corpse Grinders - Not great, but inspired casting. The lead bad guy came across as a very realistic asshole. Plus it's about people getting ground up into cat food, which is unique.

The Giant Spider Invasion - You'd think a film with a VW Bug covered in a giant spider costume would be Oscar material, but strangely it was kinda boring.

Bloody Pit Of Horror - HILARIOUS! It takes a while to get going, but when it does, it's fantastically camp! And I don't even LIKE camp!

The Haunting (original version) - Creepy haunted house movie from the oldentimes. Very well done, although the neurotic lead woman gets pretty fucken irritating after a while.

The Nesting - Dumb haunted brothel movie. Not a must-see.

Dawn Of The Dead (137-min version) - I liked it. It was so long you felt like you were living with these people after a while. Then that goddamned Tom Savini had to come along and ruin everything.

The Plague of the Zombies - Old but fine.

Night of the Living Dead (remake) - Pointless, but the ending was funny.

Saw IV - I liked the movie, but the "trick ending" was a weak retread of two earlier trick endings in the series. Come on, trick ending people, think of a good trick ending.

Bug - Felt like a play. Because it was based on a play! It was okay, but didn't hold a candle to the wonderful Bradford Dillman film of the same title.

The Hearse - Creepy going, but never ends up anywhere.

The Hole - Very good! Plus this 15-year-old takes off her shirt, which can't be legal. Girls aren't allowed to take their shirts off until they're 18, here in Saudi Arabia.

The Descent - Scary as shit! Then it gets even SCARIER than shit, making shit all jealous and shit!

Kairo (Pulse) - Scary! Dead people on the Internet! Strange ending.

Snapshot - Boring drama sold as a horror movie under the title "The Day After Halloween." Way to go, distributor assholes!

It's Alive - Really good. The guy playing the father did a fantastic job of conveying all the contrasting feelings that one would experience in such a situation. Situation being that your newborn baby keeps murdering everybody.

Night Call Nurses - I've now seen all of Roger Corman's "Nurses" movie except one (which I own and will watch at some point). I can't remember a thing about any of them, but there was nudity!

Rush Week - I liked this slasher!

Drive-In Massacre - A proto-slasher. Pretty good, I guess. Don't remember it much.

Murderock (Dancing Death) - Fulci. Exactly like "Killer Workout" but even less good.

The House of Clocks - Fulci. Creepy!

Contraband - Fulci. Violent, bloody action movie. I liked it!

Voices From Beyond - Fulci. A girl's dead father keeps asking her to find out who killed him, but he's not a very nice man so it could be anybody. His body rots terrifically as the film progresses.

Touch Of Death - Fulci. A laugh-out-loud offensive film -- a sexist, misogynist, cannibal/slasher serial killer COMEDY! I may be the only person in the world to like this film. It was just so over-the-top in trying to make you side with the killer!

Satan's Little Helper - Silly but fun slasher from Jeff "Squirm" Lieberman. A little kid accidentally helps Satan kill a bunch of people, to comedic effect.

American Nightmare - Really sleazy slasher, good! Filmed in Canada, so nice title.

Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia - Good drama/action thing! Pessimistic!

Der Todesking - Pointless suicide movie from the Nekromantik guy. I don't remember a thing about it.

American Gothic - Interesting slasher with a creepy retarded family who live like it's the 1700's and kill people. Good!

Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon - A slasher parody that turns into a slasher at the end. It had a few good laughs and the twist at the end was nice, but it felt like a 45-minute movie dragged out to feature-length.

Black X-Mas (remake) - They changed EVERYTHING! And that's GOOD! I liked it - very bloody! It wasn't scary like the original, but it was a fun gore movie and I liked how they went into the sordid history of Billy.

The Hills Have Eyes (remake) - They didn't change enough. The addition of the nuked-out town was great, but otherwise it followed the original far too closely to be interesting.

Mindhunters - Interesting slasher disguised as a thriller. One of those post-"Seven" serial killer movies with some neat kills and pointlessly intricate ideas. Christian Slater falls over and busts into a million pieces! (if memory serves)!

Nightmare at Shadow Woods - Hilarious old "good twin/evil twin" slasher with Louise Lasser overacting something fierce.

Shadows Run Black - Forgettable slasher but in a funny way -- nearly every single scene involves a different woman taking off all her clothes and then getting murdered. Seriously! That's the whole plot! A young Kevin Costner plays a minor role. He couldn't act then either.

Turistas - Was a good scary horror movie until it turned into an action movie for the boring final 20 minutes. The lead guy looked too much like that asshole Brian on 90210 too.

Valentine - Decent modern slasher.

Class of 1984 - Great high school gang violent action rape/revenge movie, with a young Michael J. Fox in a 'good guy' supporting role!

Tenement: Game of Survival - Hilariously bad yet gory, stupid, violent, cheap and awesome Roberta Findlay movie from the early '80s. The refrigerator scene -- my god, the refrigerator scene!!

1408 - Scary!

Off The Charts: The Song-Poem Story - I'd heard it sucked, but I quite enjoyed it. I love those damned song-poems, and it was interesting to finally see in person the kind of only-halfway-sane people who write them.

Hot Fuzz - Hilarious! Fantastic movie! If you're familiar with cop movie cliche's, see this now!

Video Vixens - I'm all for sleaze and nudity, but this was too sexist even for me. Yech.

School Killer - Okay supernatural Spanish slasher, but the ending didn't make any sense.

The Mutilator - Decent bloody old slasher. I wrote a song once called "Bloody Old Nun."

Hot Chili - Inept, unlikable 80s sex comedy with lead characters like the nerd who keeps whining, "Everybody keeps getting laid! I wanna get fucked too!" Lots of nudity though.

The Child - Creepy! The child can raise the dead to do her evil bidding. The lead actress is a fantastic scream queen; she sounds absolutely insanely terrified for the last 15 minutes!

Rituals - Deliverance rip-off but okay. Stupid video box claimed it was unrated but it was the goddamned TV version!

Anita: Young Nymphomaniac - I love Christina Lindberg but jesus christ what a depressing movie! She just keeps having joyless sex with people and then getting beaten up for it! How's a guy supposed to maintain a feasible boner?

SS Camp Women's Hell - One of the less interesting Nazi Sexploitation films I've seen, and I've seen far too many. "Why, how many do you mean, Mr. Prindle?" Well, (sigh), so far I've enjoyed SS Camp Women's Hell, Hitler's Harlots, Nazi Love Island, The Night Porter, The Gestapo's Last Orgy, Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS, Cutthroat Commandos, Special Train For Hitler, Salon Kitty, Love Camp 7, The Beast In Heat, SS Girls, SS Hell Camp, SS Experiment Love Camp, Elsa Fraulein SS and Red Nights of the Gestapo. So that's 16. Oh, and I have Deported Women of SS Special Section, but haven't watched that one yet. Quite frankly, if there were a movie called Schindler's Tits, I'd probably see that one as well. I don't have very good taste.

3 Extremes - I liked it! And not just "Dumplings," but all three parts!

Cry Uncle - Nudity-filled old '70s "private eye" parody with a slob private detective. Was okay.

Torso - Quite enjoyable old giallo. Violent! And with about 8,000 different red herrings!

Assault on Precinct 13 (original) - Good! Except for the dumb dialogue. Still, wasn't that awesome when they shot the little girl in the face?

The Clonus Horror - Clever! See it!

God Told Me To - Good! That's my opinion.

The Premonition - Very interesting movie. Not quite horror, but certainly eerier than a drama. The mime guy is a nut!

Magic - Anthony Hopkins as ventriloquist who goes crazy. I like almost anything, and this qualifies!

Picnic at Hanging Rock - Really interesting art/mystery film from the guy who did "The Last Wave," a really interesting art/mystery film.

An American Werewolf in London - MUCH better than I was expecting. Funny too! It's not so much about a werewolf as it is about a guy who dreads finding out whether he's actually going to turn into a werewolf! And the decaying friend is a hoot.

Deadline - A real American nightmare. A movie about how horror movies are much less scary than the horrors of real life. Really good movie, and quite disturbing if you're, say, in your 30s and married and whatnot.

Private (Fallo) - Tinto Brass. SeXXXy!!!!!! SUPER SeXXXy!!!!! I gained 14 pounds just from all the blood coursing into my DICK!!!!! And that's how I make friends, by talking like that.

Human Experiments - Probably fine, who knows. I just bought it so I could say I saw all the Video Nasties (except "I Miss You Hugs And Kisses," which I'm just going to assume doesn't exist, even though all signs point to it actually existing).

Pervert! - Super-fun Russ Meyer homage starring Mary Carey! Seriously fun! A modern sexploitation film that isn't a complete piece of shit! Some great gore too.

Private School...For Girls - Fine. The thing about 80s sex comedies is that they're basically just like 80s slashers except no slashing happens.

Night Warning - Creepy horror movie about a possessive aunt going nuts, and a homophobic detective on the case. I liked it!

The Perils of Gwendoline In The Land Of The Yik-Yak - A young Tawny Kitaen takes her shirt off! Then, later, she does it again!

The Zero Boys - Half-slasher, half-'80s corny action movie. Guess which half I liked? On a separate note, the Zero Boys album Vicious Circle is awesome.

Chatterbox - Wacky r-rated sex comedy about a woman with a talking vagina. At the end, it falls in love with a talking penis.

Pussy Talk - Serious X-rated pornography film about a woman with a talking vagina. At the end, it is killed by a talking penis.

Ringu, Organ, The Eye - You know Asians with their scariness.

You?

Reader Comments

bougops@bu.edu (Greg Bougopoulos)
7/10. Now THIS is an improvement! The title track, which starts this off, certainly attests to it. The melody is first-rate and the production is much better. Only the closer "Kiss the Eclipse" matches "Sunny Sundae Smile"'s greatness but the other two songs, "Sylvie's Head" and "Paint a Rainbow" are acceptable. The next two EPs would further stretch out MBV's musical plans, especially in seeing that Dave left after this release and Bilinda was given the task of being one of the two lead vocalists. But this is a good release and the best one in Dave's stay with the band.

Billdude
As a longtime lover of the two "main" MBV studio albums I've always been sort of curious to hear all those early EPs once or twice; I listened to "Ecstasy & Wine" a couple times in a store and hated it - white noise yes, but not at all eerie, dark, or beautiful like "Isn't Anything" or "Loveless." Since then they've dropped off my priority list, so I'm glad you did a bunch of movie reviews instead. (I did hear "Glider," which contains the lost MBV classic "Off Your Face"--that gothic Cure chord sequence is pulled off wonderfully!)

Of your movie reviews I've seen:

"Halloween II" - I plan on rewatching the entire series. This is where Donald Pleasance, who was excellent in the first "Halloween," began to rant and rave like a drunken old man (which he supposedly WAS around this time.) He went on to star in about four more films in the series for some reason, until he was pushing 80, except for the legendary, ridiculous "Halloween III"! Ever seen that shit? You have to! Also Dana Carvey's first movie appearance is in this film somewhere, but I could never find him.

"Talladega Nights" - It's awesome. You can live without the figure skater movie - it's nice, but you won't want to bother watching it in full a second time.

"Night Of The Living Dead" remake - I haven't seen this, but Tom Towles ("Otis" from "Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer") is in it, and Tom Towles rules. Did you see "Grind House"? He plays a Nazi in one of the fake movie trailers, the one Rob Zombie did ("Werewolf Women Of The SS--sounds right up your alley!) and he's in all of Rob Zombie's movies!

"The Descent" - This movie sucked biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig dick! Big, big dick!

"Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia" - Very good although I have yet to outright adore any Sam Peckinpah movies, and as you probably are well aware, Peckinpah is an utter critical darling adored by all movie hipsters.

"Picnic At Hanging Rock" - Very eerie in spots, the sexual subtext with the girls was interesting, and the film really does tap into the "we're never going to see them again"/"they died so young" thing, and....the second half of the movie is boring as hell.

"House By The Cemetery." - Lucio Fulci. The only Fulci film I've seen (and you didn't include it in your reviews here, I'm just mentioning it because of all the mentions of Fulci) and the woman's head getting chopped off in the basement had me seriously squirming. Fulci must have HATED women--I mean, I know I'm on the tip of the iceberg with all these low budget cult horror films, but the murders of the women in this movie are so sickeningly drawn out that the film really did scare and disturb me!

"Valentine" - This movie sucks! Total boring "Scream" ripoff in a sea of 'em.

"Class Of '84" - I liked it! Fun old 80s movie the kind of which used to be on Cinemax and HBO all the time during certain hours. Michael J. Fox's whiny pubescent voice was very funny, but the ugly exploitation movie style revenge death of the bad guy at the end was even better! Now go watch "Class Of Nuke 'Em High," which is the only good Troma movie ever made.

edoslan@gmail.com
I realize you counting 'The Beast in Heat' and 'SS Hell Camp' as two different movies emphasizes how many of these you've seen but these are in fact the same film. Furthermore this ep sounds like a local group I've heard called the Icicles, who as their name might suggest, are just as annoyingly cheery and jangly.

Add your thoughts?

Ecstasy & Wine - Lazy 1989.
Rating = 6

This is apparently a compilation of two different EPs whose names you're very possibly "with-it" enough to discern for yourself (hint: one of them is called "&". I think.). A lovely-voiced female vocalist has replaced Mr. Fey and the music finally has that rich Kevin Shields sheen, but the melodies still have a lot more innocent pop energy than they would later on. Both singers' voices are very pretty (especially the woman - holy CHRIST, does she have a beautiful voice. From now on, I will refer to her as "Bilinda Butcher" for reasons of my own). Some of the songs have a hint of that mesmerizingly loud romanticism that would mark the band's most well-known work ("Strawberry Wine" and "Lose Yourself In Me" are already there), but most of the songs still seem kind of derivative and too wussily poppy to have much of an effect on me personally. I hear some Byrds influence in the faster songs (especially "I Don't Need You" and "She Loves You No Less," which feature both the chimy ringing of what I assume is a 12-string and chord sequences pulled totally from that mid-60s school of bothering to write a great singalongable melody), which is always a cool thing and something you might not expect from this band if you've only heard the murkily thick classic Loveless. As a whole, it's a pleasant listen, but nothing super-special.

Man what's with all the damn parentheses? I hate when I do that. Go back and erase those. I'd rather have a bunch of comma splices and run-on sentences than be lured by the maddeningly irresistable but ultimately devastating melody of the Parenthese Siren.

Reader Comments

bougops@bu.edu (Greg Bougopoulos)
The Strawberry Wine EP included here is the highlight of this comp, what with the fact that it includes the title track, "Never Say Goodbye" and "Can I Touch You?" Ecstasy isn't that strong, though, "(Please) Lose Yourself In Me" is a great song. The weak ones make this comp a low 7.

Caterwaul@aol.com
This is one I'd bought 13 odd years ago at waxtrax. "Never say goodbye" is a melodic pop classic. "strawberry wine" is a jangly 60s inspired tune. Anyone who hates MBV but loves cheery britpop would even love this disc. A treasure if you can still find it. Yes, Bilinda's voice rules.

bigabool@iprimus.com.au
oh boy oh boy oh boy...... now I'm just gettin warmed up here.

I can't believe no-one has commented on this fantasic little gem, it's kinda tucked away in the shadows of its bigger siblings( loveless/isn't anything) but it's always been best on ground for mine.

let it be said that no-one on this good earth does smutty-sexy-as-all-hell pop songs like my bloody valentine.

somewhere, someone has compiled a list & possibly a mix tape of the best songs about oral sex & if they have then SLOW would be front & centre the best song there is.

I can't think of any other songs about oral sex right now but thats not the point.

I know this record is a 10 and I know you know but you the system won't allow it, thats cool.

it's the system.

Add your thoughts?


Untitled [You Made Me Realise] EP - Creation 1988.
Rating = 8

Hey yo! What usp? Mark Prindle is in the house, and I wanna give a shout-out to my homies Blinky Ralphe, Puffy Didd-E P, Afraid Of Bugs Ernie! This here's my latest joint, a review of My Bloody Valentine's You Made Me Realishizzise EP, and we's gonna rock this joint, yo! Can I get a "Yeah"?

"YEAH!"

Can I get a "Hell Yeah"?

"HELL YEAH!"

Can I get a "Pepsi"?

"ME AND YOUR MOM HAVE BEEN NOTICING LATELY THAT YOU'VE BEEN HAVING A LOT OF PROBLEMS, YOU'VE BEEN GOING OFF FOR NO REASON AND WE'RE AFRAID YOU'RE GOING TO HURT SOMEBODY, AND WE'RE AFRAID YOU'RE GONNA HURT YOURSELF. SO WE DECIDED -

Alright shazizzle - this EP features fo' or fi' of the smackest, shizackest, mackest, paddilywackest, jackest tunes these muthafukkas ever writ, yo, and this next sentence is for my homey Nickolaus Poop-So-Plenty! The EP features the wiggly swoopy dreamy guitar loop sound effects that would later drive the youth crazy on Loveless. That was fa you, Nickolaus P.S.P Yo Yo Yo!!! Ed Asner is In The House! And Prince Paul Johnson is In The House! Little Miss Muffet is In The House! The Spider on Her Tuffet is In The House! A Bodyless Vagina is In The House! A jug of Aunt Jemima is In The House! Larry Hagman's asspipe is In The House! That fuckin' Bono asswipe is In The House! Hey yo yo, Architecture Gary - let 'em know what time it is!

"Hello. I'm Architecture Gary. This EP features five tracks composed of clean guitars, swoopy loop weirdo bendy lead effects, beautiful female vocals and a horrendously cheap fakey drum sound."

DAMN, Architectushizzleure Gshizzleashizzlershizzley! You be proselytizin' and prophesizin'! Kickin' col' knowledge all up the hood and keepin' it real! Hey yo, look over there -- check out the baby buggy bumpers on THAT hootie bootie cutie! Hey yo girlie, come into my crib and let 'em know what it's all about!

"Hello. I'm a black woman with a large ass. This EP is split into three happy bubblegum songs and two harrowingly beautiful songs that serve as a strong precursor to the Loveless to come. Personally, I could do with less bubblegum and more harrowing beauty, especially since 'Slow' and 'Drive It All Over Me' feature the exact same melody played in different keys."

DAAAAAAMN, woman! You be all about yo word up to yo mama! Bling bling! One sec - my Chinese phone is ringing. Hello? Wuzzat? Hoozat? Wherezat? Whyzat? Howzat? Whenzat? (*hangs up phone*) It was my main maaaaan Tommy Hanks! He's all up a bitch's ass 'bout yo, didja catch today's Bosom Buddies and yo didn't I kick some mufukn ass in Rona Barrett's Mazes & Monsters and I'm all like whatever! Yo, word up! My main man DJ Jazzy Sorrell Brooke is in the house! Yo, DJ Jaz Sor Bro, let 'em hear it!

"'Drive It All Over Me' is a waste of time." (*turntable scratching noise*) "It's basic jangle college pop rock that any band could do." (*turntable scratching noise*) "However, the other four tracks are brilliant sonic expressions of angst, joy and aural ingenuity." (*turntable scratching noise*) "This is definitely worth buying, so hunt it down if you're anything like a My Bloody Valentine fan." (*turntable scratching noise*) "I'm talented, as are all hip-hop DJs." (*turntable scratching noise*)

23-Skidoo! Oh shit, I didn't mean (*is derided as 'insufficiently street' by Urban Developer magazine*)

Reader Comments

bougops@bu.edu (Greg Bougopoulos)
10/10. This is one of two untitled EPs released in 1988, and it is the best. In fact, this may be the greatest EP ever released, and that includes Slates!

See, the fact is every song here is a classic. I really mean it. They're that great. "You Made Me Realise" starts us off with a great bassline and drum beat coming together to begin the song. Then, in the middle of the song, a build of noise occurs that is amazing, before the song goes back into pattern. I can't describe it, just hear it. The next song, "Slow" is heavy as hell, and has this swaying guitar sound constantly appearing. It too is brilliant, and the lyrics are smutty as all hell. And then, "Thorn" comes on and that has an awesome melody. Man, talk about a first three songs, and then talk of the last two songs. "Cigarette In Your Bed" is not as accessible, but Bilinda's voice and the sound of the song carry it into greatness. Finally, "Drive It All Over Me" ends the EP on a high note, especially given the catchy drum sound.

So, do your very best to hear these songs because they truly are pieces of brilliance.

edm1213@msn.com
Ordinarily I wouldnt have given this the time of day since an EP isnt a real record anymore than a woman's a real person (except Bilinda Butcher), but since they havent come out with any new music in 4 million years and i desperately needed more MBV, when i saw this and the Feed Me With Your Kiss EPs as tracks on the Your Bloody Rarities compliation (basically Ecstasy and Wine plus the two EPs) i grabbed it.

Good stuff, probably as essential as Isn't Anything since it's the same era and just as good. What "You Made Me Realise" is doing not on the album i dont know, but it's a great song. The others are good enough to make it worthwhile too. The same goes for the songs on the Feed Me With Your Kiss EP. As neccessary to own to compliment the Isnt Anything album as the Glider and Tremolo songs are for Loveless, definitely. 9/10

Oh yeah, as Mark mentioned they're reforming in 2008 for a bunch of shows. Whether this will lead to anything new coming out is anybody's guess. Still, three cheers for those EPs! Yay EPs! As the most recent Jesu output shows, the EP is coming back in a major way.

And I dont care what anyone says, Wesley Willis woops the fox's ass with a belt. Though Mark is right on the Feed Me With Your Kiss review about Wesley's small amount of talent, for me it was all about feeling. And Wesley lived for and felt rock n' roll more than anyone. Grab any of the 30 or so albums Wesley put out and ride the city bus to Rock N' Roll Utopia! Wesley was truly the Daddy of Rock and Roll.

Plus he headbutted me about 10 or 12 time when i saw him live. Totally painful. Defintiely worth it.

mikingmihrab@gmail.com
Jesus Christ, Best Review Ever. Fuck the music.

Bring me the Head of Alfonso Garcia is one of my favorite movies. I love the part where he's chugging a bottle in bed with sunglasses on. The actor great too, see all his movies.


* Isn't Anything - Sire 1988 *
Rating = 10

How did they get that signature sound? From what I can tell, it seems to be mainly the result of a distorted bass, beautiful background vocals, and most of all, layers and layers of electric guitar overdubs, some of which are distorted to white noise unlistenability, others of which feature the guitarist using his tremelo bar to give the melody an ethereal rising/falling feel with the change of the notes. This effect (however it was actually done) was put even more to use on the next album; I just didn't want to forget to mention it.

Admittedly, Kevin's singing stinks up the joint on the album's very first track. But other than that, to compare this record to the band's previous material is a joke. This CD is so far beyond anything that they had come up with before that you'd might as well just take all those "EP"s and throw 'em in the back of a garbage van. It's the guitars, man. The guitar effects are out of control. It's not a total washout yet. They dabble ever closer to that unbreakable ocean current of pink/purple love/violence sound that made Loveless a college radio classic, but there are spaces on this record. And lots of neat different ways of creating a gripping, dramatic feel ("Feed Me With Your Kiss" is a darned grunge song! Tell me it isn't!!!!). Half of the time I can't even tell what it is they're doing to get such a neat sound. It almost sounds like they're beating on the guitar strings with a really fast stick or putting the amp next to an oscillating fan or something. That's impressive to me. I love when people come up with new ways of approaching sound, and in this field Kevin Shields is a goddamned genius. Not only are the melodies haunting, but the way he presents them are so... different. Just different. Echoed all to hell, sprinkled with arpeggiated notes, what sound like piano janglings but may very well be guitars, with a distorted mask of noise in the background and the ever-thumping bass and guitar holding down the fort. The patented "wall of sound" that Phil Spector always failed to achieve to my liking.

I know Loveless gets all the great press, but if you ask me, Isn't Anything is the real masterpiece in this band's oeuvre. If you happen to run across Kevin Shields in your shower tomorrow, ask him how the heck he made all those neat guitar noises!

And don't fall for the answer "croutons." I did that last time and it was the biggest mistake of my life.

Reader Comments

bougops@bu.edu (Greg Bougopoulos)
There are a couple of weaker numbers in "Soft As Snow" and "All I Need" but even then those are still interesting musically. This album is simply amazing, and the more one listens to it, the more one realizes it. "Several Girls Galore", "Feed Me With Your Kiss" and "Lose My Breath" are the holy trinity here on this album for me, but I'm willing to concede most of the others as worthy of worship as well. No less than a 9 for this one, no matter what one's feelings towards Loveless are.

alanhaw@hotmail.com (Alan Hawkins)
The first half of the album is fantastic - scary, razor-sharp guitar noise combined with stoned out shoegazer ambience! But after that it kind of settles into your average pop/rock song structure and just stays there. They still sounded way ahead of their time though, I'll give it a 7.

Jes25689@aol.com
Upon many listens to this album, I must decree that it is superior to Loveless. Oddly, the mellow songs and rock freak-outs are fairly close in quality[unlike, say, Paul Westerberg's "Mono"/Stereo"]. "When you wake(you're still in a dream)" is the epicenter, a brilliant, beautiful number that illustrates Kevin Shield's genius. Namely, he is capable of taking very few chords, and very common ones at that, and turning them into noises that Eddie Van Halen could never duplicate. A 10 here.

mwest@crsoftwareinc.com (Michael J. West)
Wll, Mark, I've tried, and tried, and tried, really I have. Honest and for true. But I can't for the life of me figure out how anyone could really prefer Isn't Anything to Loveless. It's a bit like declaring Pablo Honey the best Radiohead album, or Please Please Me the best Beatles...which is to say, good though it is, it's remarkably less remarkable (HA! poetic) when standing next to its successor.

7/10.

dead-beat@socal.rr.com
MBV is a true testament like the Stooges or the Jesus & Mary Chain that people can pick up their instruments and make some incredible music. I have to agree with a reader comment above how even with all his skills, Van Halen can never emulate the sounds, tones, or feeling this recording has. I ain't saying skill is bad, but people need to know how to make good music first instead of concerning so much about being a virtuoso.

tomtoocool2065@yahoo.com
Talk about a stinker! Now, my copy is a downloaded CD-R and all the sources said that all the files are by My Bloody Valentine, and I'm under the impression that some of the songs might be by some shitty My Bloody Valentine cover band. These songs are unusually terrible. After hearing the first track you can tell that this is no Loveless. It becomes obvious that Kevin cannot sing and his lyrics are not-so-discreet sex references. Maybe it's good that on Loveless his vocals are buried way in the back.

Besides a few tracks with showy production, the whole album sounds like it was performed by a very loose generic alt-rock band composed of pre-teens. Maybe it's just me, but sometimes it seems like the beat isn't exactly solid, the tempo is all over the place. This isn't tightly performed music performed by very talented musicians (for that, see: Primus), most of the songs sound like it's the first time the band has performed them. Then there are two tracks in the middle which sound like the wall-of-sound Loveless material gone horribly wrong, "No More Sorry" for instance. And does Kevin actually say the words "...fuck cunt..." in "Sueisfine"?

Like "Bad Moon Rising" by Sonic Youth or, to a lesser extent, "Jar of Flies" by Alice in Chains, this is just an album by a usually great artist that is astonishingly awful and mindboggling how overrated it is. Get Loveless. You can actually headbang to "Only Shallow".

meesterrain@msn.com
Well, for starters I think you have to be a certain type of person to listen to MBV. Most fans curse the times when conway was lead, & of course the band as we all prefer it formed & started in with ecstacy & ect. However, this is about "Isn't anything". Loveless was a project of 4 perfectionists that would've never been released had the bankruptcy issue never surfaced. I think Loveless is very hard to forget. (even with drum machines) Isn't anything is about as raw as MBV gets. You take a look at the brain with different sections that handle different emotions & I'm sure all of them would light up for the duration of the entire album. From simple, fragmented lyrics, to the harmonies recorded, to the way their instruments were played note for note; that album is a very valuable listening experience for any rock listener from ages (I dare say) 13 on up......or at least on through the 20's. I know people that detest that album, I know people who've described it as an extremely harsh emotional journey...heck I know people who've listened to it in the dark (on god knows what) & have been scared to death. So, in my opinion out of all their rarities & b-sides, kevin shields re-mixes, old 7 inches, covers, singles & albums I think "Isn't Anything" is their most valuable, most genius album.

xxxxthecure@yahoo.com
Hello Again.

There is no way I can see Isn't Anything being better than Loveless. It's amazing, yes but it simply does not defeat Loveless. I can see it's much more accessible and the sound effects are really great. If there were more elite songs like "Feed Me With Your Kiss" I would fully agree with your 10. However there isn't any other song that reaches those heights. It seems like a regular late 80s/early 90s indie album with distortion, beautiful distortion. But if you take that away there "Isn't Anything" (how corny is that) really special about it. But I will admit it's still great.

Isn't Anything 9/10
The distortion is top-notch on this album.

darksideofthemoo@hotmail.com
I don't second your appraisal of Isn't Anything being the Bloodies' (that's my lame/affectionate nickname for Kevin and the gang) 10, Prindle. While I certainly understand your claim of superior/more diverse songwriting on this puppy (in comparison to the other MBV godhead, Loveless), sometimes the production and/or performance keep some of these songs from realizing their full potential. The guitars, atmosphere and overall tunes/melodies are a pleasure throughout (as is to be expected from the Bloodies!) but what the hell is up with these boxy-as-f*ck drums? Couple that with Colm's jarring wannabe-Grant Hart playing style and it's almost like crap confettied over the Bloodies' signature ecstasy-spiked chocolate mousse!

As for the performances, let's take the example of "I Can See It (But I Can't Feel It)" (that's what my girlfriends i.e. "victims" as they call themselves to be cute always say). The funny thing is I actually do think this song is about dicks, or at least the song itself is a metaphor for them. Why? Listen to the album version. The torpid vocals make it sound so limp! And not in a seemingly intentional way. But then, listen to the "Peel Session" version that's floating around on the Internet. What was previously "sagging" and "dreary" is turned into "diamond-hard" and "drilling violently into your (ear) orifices" as the song is given an unbelievably awesome pounding near-industrial run-through, with on-tune vocals. The same goes for "Feed Me With Your Kiss". OK, I know the album version of this "S&M turbo Beach Boys grunge" is legendary and often times picked as a genre-defining masterpiece, but then you hear the live version of it from I don't know what early 90's bootleg and only then do you realize the track's true swooning potential (if you're curious about all these "rare" tracks I'm talking about, just go here: http://www.inkoma.com/pages/my_bloody_valentine.html).

Semi-major complaints aside, this album still is pretty astounding and the true harbinger of the 90's "ethereal distortion" style. Sure, everyone from pallid brits like the Cure, JAMC and the Cocteau Twins to the SST/Homestead brigade (Sonic Youth, Husker Du, Dinosaur Jr) had been doing similar thangs for a few years now, but NO ONE had brought it all together and tied it into a tidy package the way the Bloodies did in this LP and the surrounding EPs, which represent the final consummation of the Bloodies' goth/twee/noise/punk/electronic influences. Also, it's just full of awesome, eerie, sexy songs. Like 'Suisfine' for example. Why doesn't everyone talk more about that one? It's the fastest thing MBV ever did; noisy, druggy and more than a little sinister with what seems like 10 ever so slightly out-of-sync multitracked Kevins going "su-iii-sfiine, su-iii-ciiide" in a slightly deranged manner that would've driven Tipper Gore insane back then if she had been hip to the proto-grunge scene. Come to think it, there are no songs such as this one in Loveless. Prindle does have a point about the 10...

Final rating: 9/10. Maybe if Kevin got off his cannabis-engorged ass, got this whole reunion thing doing something apart from perforating eardrums in a live setting and re-RECORDED (not remastered) these odes to the "pothead romantic" mentality utilizing the latest advancements in 21st-century 'glide guitar' technology, then, ONLY then, would we be talking about a 'Loveless' killer...one can always dream, can't I?

Add your thoughts?


Untitled [Feed Me With Your Kiss] EP - Creation 1988
Rating = 9

For the record, I liked the movie My Bloody Valentine. Yes, it's disappointing that the MPAA made them cut out most of the gore in order to secure an R rating, but it's still a very spooky concept (a murderous mine worker - in full miner get-up - tearing out peoples' hearts and mailing them in valentine candy boxes) as well as one of the few slashers with an emotional/dramatic storyline (involving one miner's failure in the big city, return to town and attempt to reclaim his old girlfriend, who is already dating a hot-tempered miner named Axel). And who can forget that ending, when you discover that the REAL murderer is none other than Axe... er, an AXE-murderer, of course!

(Also, in The Others, the family is dead the whole time)

I know it's on Isn't Anything already, but "Feed Me With Your Kiss" is an ass-kicking song. My Bloody Valentine isn't by trade an ass-kicking band, but this song POUNDS! If Wesley Willis was still alive, he'd say that it's a "very nice man" and a "rock and roller." Then he'd say the song title four times in a row, then he'd say "You are a song on the first My Bloody Valentine album," then he'd say how many people bought the album, then he'd say it "whipped a horse's ass with a belt," then he'd say the title four times in a row again, then he'd say "Rock over London, Rock on Chicago" and recite an advertising slogan he heard somewhere.

I don't know if you people realize exactly how disturbing a Wesley Willis album really is. I know he sounds exuberant, and supposedly playing music kept him from hearing voices in his head, but it is absolutely creepy to hear this man utilize the exact same formula - to a T - over and over and over and over again, ON LIKE TEN DIFFERENT ALBUMS! And it wasn't due to lack of talent (though he certainly had little - no crime); it was due to extreme mental illness. For some reason, his schizophrenia created in him a bizarre compulsion to use the exact same song template no matter what subject he was singing about. Steve Albini, Jello Biafra, Urge Overkill - every song is identical. Funny? Sure. But creepier than funny. And I'm saying this here because I have no intention of ever buying enough Wesley Willis albums to review him (I currently own four, and used to have a couple more).

And let's not even talk about the 20+ Jandek CDs I own (sigh).

Aside from "Feed Me With Your Kiss," this EP contains three non-LP tracks that further investigate the sonic capabilities of the four-piece rock band. The bass is thick and heavy as hell, Kevin is soundscaping like crazy, and it's becoming quite clear that this band is a bunch of genus. The vocals are still looser, rawer and maler than they would soon become, but they don't ruin anything like Dave Conway might have done. Incidentally, for the past week, I haven't been able to get "Moonlight" (from Geek!) out of my head. That's great, now I can keep yelling it out if they play in NYC on this so-called "reunion" tour. Kevin'll be all like, "Dude, that's the best song I ever wrote, let's play a 45-minute version of it" and I'll be all like "Yeah!"

On the descriptive jib, "I Believe" is not a Tears For Fears cover at all! Instead, it's a slow-moving dreamy, druggy morass of piano clinks, fuzz bass, heartbeat drums, ethereal voice, thick bass and wiggly droney guitar notes. Similarly, "Emptiness Inside" is not a Buzzcocks cover with the first word changed at all! Instead, it's the "I Can See For Miles" chords played all woozily and discombobulated by Kevin and his tremelo bar. Never could Pete Townshend have even DREAMT that his generic chord changes would one day influence such insane disorienting bendy-fuzz.

And by "bendy-fuzz," I of course mean "tiny pubic hairs on a little kid he's looking at naked on the Internet".

The final track, "I Need No Trust," is a bit of a dragger due to Kevin singing laconically as if he were Lou Reed, but he gets this weird piano-sucky scrapy noise out of his guitar that almost makes up for it. I'm not sure what the devil he's doing, but it kinda sounds like he's blasting an oscillating fan over his pick-ups. Any ideas out there in the peanut audience?

If I don't speak to you before the holidays, have a Happy Holidays! And remember - Santa Claus ate the baby Jesus.

Reader Comments

bougops@bu.edu (Greg Bougopoulos)
8/10. This second untitled EP doesn't reach as high as the previous masterpiece but it's still worthy. The mock title track was already on Isn't Anything, but why not hear it again here? Also, "I Believe" and "Emptiness Inside" are strong songs in their own right, and they appear here. Yeah, isn't that a great concept?

Add your thoughts?

Glider EP - Creation/Sire 1990.
Rating = 8

The best song is also on Loveless, the second best is just a bunch of looped guitar noises, the third could be by anybody, and the fourth stinks. More nominally, "Soon" is a classic; "Glider" is an awfully intriguing collection of noises; "Off Your Face" is a very good romantic guitar-pop song, but lacking (as it is) MBV's patented awesome all-enveloping wash of noise, it might as well be Belly, Garbage or any of their other female-vocaled contemporaries; and "Don't Ask Why" sounds like a more wistful "Pinball Wizard" but with a vocal melody that wears REALLY thin over the course of four minutes. Still, the EP came out 19 months before Loveless, so "Soon" must have excited a lot of people at the time.

And by "Soon," I of course mean the "Soon" portion of Yes' "The Gates Of Delirium."

Speaking of allusions that not enough people make, here are some other things that people need to start referencing in everyday conversation:

- Walter Egan's "Hot Summer Nights"
- Shark Attack for the Atari 2600
- Larry Hagman's Wrist-Snappin' Red Rubber Band
- "What Can You Get A Wookie For Christmas When He Already Owns A Comb?"
- Graeme Edge
- The board game "Big Deal"
- The Aliens Are Coming
- Those little styrofoam airplanes that you throw up in the air and they fly all around and usually land in a tree
- The way that Cracked calls itself a "Mazagine"
- "Are These Jane Curtin's Jugs?"
- "I'm HOME! I've been home for four hours!"
- That time I crapped at the Feeney's and didn't flush

So come on everybody and let's get nostalgia back where it belongs - decimated by electroshock therapy.

Reader Comments

bougops@bu.edu (Greg Bougopoulos)
9/10. The opening track here, "Soon," shows how much growth has taken place in the world of My Bloody Valentine (and yours too; sorry, had to use that). Brian Eno praised it as the future of pop at the time, and you will too, if you have a 1990 mental state. A classic number, it closed up Loveless as well. The title track to this EP is basically noise that slowly builds up, stays for a couple minutes and a half, then decides it wants to leave to make way for the pretty song "Don't Ask Why." The last song "Off Your Face" is not as strong, but hey Bilinda can't write a great one all the time.

meesterrain@msn.com
Since I listened to this EP after listening to Loveless, I found it a little annoying. The title track to glider was fantastic & creative. Don't ask why was later ripped off by six pence none the richer. Finally, "off your face" ( & I've been called crazy for this, but) is probably the most important song on that EP. I think it's very well done. I think the harmony is almost tear jerking, which makes the lyrics even more hurtful because it's coming from belinda. "off your face" is truly fantastic but the rest of the EP was not as distinguishable with any other MBV stuff.

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Tremolo EP - Creation/Sire 1990.
Rating = 9

My Bloody Valentine? More like THE MOODY BLUES, if you ask me!

No no, hear me out. The Moody Blues = The Bloody Mues = The Bloody Muse = That bloody person that influences my art with passion and love = My Bloody Valentine. Shocking, isn't it? But you haven't heard the half of it!

KEVIN must use SHIELDS to protect himself from BILINDA the psychotic BUTCHER -- just as JOHN must hide in his motor LODGE in order to avoid GRAEME's EDGE. Aaaah! I'm scared and so is my ringworm!

But the similarities don't stop there. There's one more. My Bloody Valentine's two albums = Isn't Anything and Loveless, while The Moody Blues' two songs = "Isn't Life Strange" and "Lovely To See You." More like "Isn't ANYTHING in Life Strange" and "LOVELESS to See You!" Can I do I have to be any proofer?

I don't mean to add insults to injured people, but you'd have to be blind as a victim of eye trauma to not see that My Bloody Valentine was intended as nothing more than a CIA mind control experiment designed to neutralize the most radical and politicized of all '60s acts, The Moody Blues. And did it work? I think we all know the answer to that one.

HELL NO! The psychotic feedback-drenched December holiday CD advocates firebombing the White House and lacing the nation's water supply with angel dust! Up yours, CIAssholes!!!!

You know what's sad in life? The fact that My Bloody Valentine was unable to follow up Loveless. I know that Kevin Shields was disappointed with his follow-up material, but that doesn't mean the rest of us would have been! He was a brilliant songwriter/noisemaker/moodcreator and it's sad as a molehill that he's left behind so little music for us to enjoy. But before we all start crying together, let's discuss the awe-inspiring Tremolo EP.

The first track, "To Here Knows When," is pulled straight from Loveless and is a perfect example of the (few, but genuine) problems I have with that album. The mix is horrendous - you can't hear the drums AT ALL! It's kinda pretty but basically sounds like a homemade demo. However, the other three songs on here are rib-roaring fantastic so don't miss out! Two feature vocals by Bilinda, one by Chet Baker on the beach in the sand when the leaves come falling down in September GODDAMMIT TO

My apologies. I'm listening to Van Morrison's top-selling 1999 CD Back On Top at the moment and it's infecting my brain with its hauntitones. Two feature vocals by Bilinda, one by Kevin. Two have bongos, one has wiggly Eastern-flute-sounding changes (probably made by a guitar though), all have those classic all-enveloping MBV swirly insane up-down guitar swoops atop jangly chords, one is a slow wistful ballad reminiscent of Pet Sounds, one is oddly toned, two have fantastic lo-fi drone loop outros like you'd find on Loveless, one is uptempo, one has an insane swooping part that ROX!, one shut him out of paradise called him Lucifer and frowned as he took pride in GODDAMMIT TO

If you enjoy the weird, wistful, warped, womantic sound of whatever the hell Kevin Shields is doing, you GOTS to buy this EP. I don't care if it costs you $600 hundred thousand dollars; that doesn't affect me.

Reader Comments

Greg Bougopoulos
8/10

Whereas the last EP showed the song-oriented sound of MBV, this shows the more sound-oriented one. And what a sound, as one listen to "Moon Song" would illustrate. Very busy in that one, as is future Loveless track "To Here Knows When." Still, the others are more accessible, one being "Honey Power" and the other being the majestic "Swallow." The latter has truly beautiful singing from Bilinda that may make you want to seek her out and give her a kiss on the cheek. This is also the first release where the songs have those fade out music interludes that connect songs, as Loveless would do. So go ahead and get it.

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Loveless - Sire 1991.
Rating = 8

It took them two years, 19 studios and a destroyed record label relationship to complete this record. So what's with the tinny shitty drum sound? You'd think that a band that places such an impact on sonic fullness would have taken care of that by this point in their existence. I guess blame the drummer, who was "suffering from physical and personal problems" at the time so they had to sample a few of his beats and just repeat them over and over.

Other than that, it sounds excellent: a darling lush backdrop of tremelo-bar bending guitars, keys, samples, buried but pretty singing, and lovely melodies. However, since Kevin uses the same guitar sounds on every song, there are a few clear standouts ("Only Shallow," tracks 4 and 5, and that awesome last song) surrounded by similar but less interesting ones. Still, it's one of the most romantic guitar-heavy records I've ever heard. I suspect that this record was more popular than the last one because this music really seems geared towards both girls and guys - the last one had a guy-centric "weird guitar noise" feel to a lot of it. This has more of a "college couple making out in the dark with candles on" feel to it. Buy it and see if you can get a kissy-kiss!

Granted, it came out sixteen years ago so you'll probably be getting a kissy-kiss from some old bag who's a full gross wrinkly decade and a half older than you.

Reader Comments

misterkite@mindspring.com (Adam Bruneau)
Well, I'm ecstatic that you've decided to review My Bloody Valentine. They're such a good original band and could kick Radiohead's ass easy if they would only get back together, but that's another problem all together. You hit it right on the mark but I really think Loveless is by far and away the better album, mainly because the songs are more structured and...well...I like pop songs dammit! Isn't Anything is great and all but Loveless just blows my mind. On top of all the songs, it has the best album cover EVER and the best, heaviest album intro EVER. Who thought you could be heavy without wearing a bondage face mask and orange prison jumpsuits? 10. Buy it or you'll be sorry.

Jes25689@aol.com
brilliant album. an entire universe of sound inside of a cd. kevin shields is a genius. a 10.

bougops@bu.edu (Greg Bougopoulos)
Takes a number of listens to truly love because it's so jammed packed with sound, but ultimately this is the peak of MBV's power. "Only Shallow" is one of the greatest album openers in rock history, and "When You Sleep" is the greatest guy/girl duets I've ever heard in this rather short life of mine. But the key to Loveless's greatness is how the songs are put together as an album. And that's why this is a 10. Isn't Anything may have more top notch songs, but Loveless sticks with me more at the end as a more musical achievement.

msclguru@email.unc.edu (Michael J. West)
The best album of the 1990s. Hands down. No question. Without competition. Next to this record, Isn't Anything just sounds amateurish and downright naked. Not that I don't totally dig IA, but Loveless....Loveless is the Supreme God of my Universe. Ten years and I'm still waiting for someone to make a better album. A 14/10.

alanhaw@hotmail.com (Alan Hawkins)
Kevin's a clever dude, there's no denying that - there are some astonishing guitar sounds on this record ("Only shallow" is built around a guitar noise that sounds like an elephants roar!) But more often than not, everything else gets lost in the sonic muck that he's created, with the drums, bass(not that I can hear any)and vocals being almost completley drowned out. It's an awesome effect though, just layers and layers of guitars all doing completley different things and being piled on top of each other, whilst lovely male/female vox sweep over gently. Occasionally it threatens to be unlistenable, and there's a couple of slow, plodding, grungy-sounding tunes during the second half that I could personally do without, but this is still a very exciting record that I can't resist listening to. A solid 9 out of 10.

atewaysatan@hotmail.com (Lord Kennedy)
it's apperent that i could get the same effect that they have on this album by sitting in Atlantas Metro inner-City Traffic with a tape recorder. because.... natually i live in atlanta. you kmow? plenty of Tires skidding, a horn every now and than , the sounds of an industrial factory. the sweet melodic womans voice off in the distance. or mans for that matter. oh who am i kidding? i dont live in Detroit. anyways what im trying to get at here is that the mc5 are losers. so fuck you... wop.

vacantmoon@hotmail.com (Mike Koenig)
c'mon you're not fooling anyone with an 8 man. i agree with the guy who thinks isn't anything songs are better overall (or at least as good) but loveless has the sound of destiny in the stars that no other album has ever matched. but to reminisce on isn't anything and 1988 is more fun...MBV, Sonic Youth, Pixies...what more do you want? wait, you can kind of still do that in 1991 - throw in Nirvana, etc. and you get depressed with the sonic progress of music these days it seems..nothing really terribly mindblowing. oh well...check out of montreal's newest, Cocquelicot Asleep In The Poppies if you want to hear my fave record of 2001. anyways, take it easy

altrockreview@hotmail.com (Nick Collings)
MBV's Loveless is unlike most other records - it's all in the sound. That textured, warm fuzzy blissful sound overcomes the weakness of samey songs. I could listen to the record all day, but I might go insane due to the droning noise.

pumpkinhead_27510@yahoo.com
There's not much that I can say about this album that hasn't been said before. You're best bet is just to buy it and experience it firsthand. It's a beautiful peice of work. It's definatly more of a speakers album than IA which to me, sounds better on headphones. Crank this one up until you can feel the entire room vibrating. If you indulge in the pleasures of mind-expanding substances, this one's also a real treat for chemically-induced evenings.

random@luktown.org (Will Moore)
the drummer broke his arm early in the loveless sessions so they relied on drum machines. there are two songs on there with live drums and they're pretty obvious. It's a shame about that.

The guitar bends are a combination of tremelo arm and fucking around with the tape machine speed knob while recording.

Giving this album an 8 is cute.

I loved the John Doe interview!

dead-beat@socal.rr.com
a very good album. but not as good as isn't anything. seriously i really can't consider this their peak. The major gripe I have is the use of the drum machine. It just didn't have that feel like the Isn't Anything album I like so much about. Colm is proably one of my favorite drummers of all time and a very underrated one for that matter. He was a POWER drummer like Moon, Mitch Mitchell, u name 'em. You hear how he pulls of those fills. Eh I might be talking out of my ass but shit, they had to get a fucking drum machine.

bigabool@iprimus.com.au
the sheer force of this record makes it a classic but I still think isn't anything is better. loveless is just too dense, too thick with beautiful noise to really comprehend. you just get carried along by the weight of it all and end up exhausted.

some beautful songs though and when I first heard 'sometimes' it just did my head in. When you consider songs such as (please) loose yourself in me/several girls galore/soon/strawberry wine etc etc you realise what an amazing songwriter k.shields is. all this gets lost in the mythology of the genius recluse endlessly holed up in his studio.

xxxxthecure@yahoo.com
Loveless is the magnum opus of music in general. However, it took me 40 (yes 40) listens to get this album. It's so thick and lush and deep with production that I can easily see why it would be deemed pretentious or not really a masterpiece. I hated this album after listening to it even 25 times. I started liking it at about the 30th time listening to it. By the way, those tiny sounding drums in "Only Shallow" contrast the heavy as hell guitars, which makes it blend perfectly. I'm not even sure MBV could make another album that has an amazing landscape of sound as this one does. So give it another try, it may just click.

Loveless 10/10
Breathtaking and beautiful do not even begin to describe how this album is. It's beyond that.

useless_creep@hotmail.com
About the tinny drum sound: I developed a theory about this that I think is correct.

Look at the list of engineers in the booklet; about a dozen people slaved over this recording, including sonic perfectionists Kevin Shields and Alan Moulder. I guess it's possible that the drums were a total loss and they somehow couldn't do any better, but it seems more likely that the record is mixed that way deliberately. I think the problem is people treating this record as if it's some soothing easy-listening drone album instead of the white noise feedback headfuck that it really is. The drums don't sound quite right unless you're listening to the album at high volume. Once you turn the record way up, it's apparent that the band is trying to bombard you with gorgeous abrasive noise, not soothing drones. The drum sound basically forces the listener to listen to the record loud with the guitars roaring.

Look at live footage; they're an intense headfuck wall of sound live, and I doubt that they intended Loveless to be received as an album to relax or sleep to. I think the engineers went out of their way to force people to listen to it loud.

This has been one of my standby "weed albums" for years, so maybe I'm way off and I've just overanalyzed it while stoned. Who knows. I'd like to hear someone ask Kevin Shields, because I think the drum sound is an issue that people bring up a lot with that record.

Mcshane123321@aol.com
I really don't see how this is an 8, really. I love both Loveless and Isn't Anything, but Loveless really is in a league of its own. I give it 11 out of 10, because I'm spontanesously cool.

Anyway, about the distortion on the album (and most other albums with distortion, especially on the guitars): I keep seeing people saying stuff like "It has no tune/melody!" or "It's so hard to hear the tune", and I'm always like "WTF?!" ("What the fuck," in old people speak!). For me the tune's are EASY to follow; I hardly notice the fuzz much at all.

nineinchgoth@hotmail.com
This album reminds me of my first real romance. It sounds a lot like said romance too, being absolutely gorgeous but shrouded in a fog of unsettling distortion. That was ages ago, but this album still brings to mind the awkward joy of truly being in love for the first time. You never can truly recreate that experience, but throw this on for a reminder.

Will
I tend to agree with most of your reviews, and I guess I'm a few years late in reading many of them. I do not totally agree with your review of MBV's Loveless because I think it is better than Isn't Anything, and that it's near perfect. And "Sometimes" is pure yearning with chords that crumble like some simile I can't finish. I think the sound is better, and that many of the songs blend so effortlessly not because they are dull, but because I think Kevin Shields was trying for the ethereal haze sound.

It is a college kissy kiss album. Perfect description there.

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