Slowdive – Slowdive – Album Review by Killian Laher
In case anyone was in any doubt, the 90s revival is well and truly here. Shoegazers Slowdive return with their first album in 22 years, confusingly self-titled (as was their 1990 EP). Listening to this, little has changed in the world of Neil Halstead, Rachel Goswell and co. The experimentation of 1995’s Pygmalion is largely avoided here as the band stick to the sound of their early to mid 90s peak. Slomo opens with treated guitars, soft drums and beds of keyboards to just sink into. It’s a long track at nearly seven minutes, taking its time to unfurl. Star Roving picks up the pace with a far quicker beat and a wall of guitars, and is probably the closest thing to ‘pop’ here. The insistent, unhurried ringing guitars are the order of the day here on tracks like Don’t Know Why and Everyone Knows.
The album also produces moodier moments like the slow-building Sugar for the Pill which gives a nod to the Stone Roses with its introduction, and No Longer Making Time, where sparser arrangements really allow Goswell and Halstead’s liquid guitar lines to stand out. Go Get It has an ambient feel which will appeal to those who preferred Slowdive’s later material, but possibly the strongest track is saved till last. An almost classical piano line introduces Falling Ashes, which has a soaring, stately melody and a gorgeous, soothing vocal from Neil Halstead as he sings “thinking about love”. The track drifts along for eight very pleasant minutes.
Not an album full of thrills but that’s not the point. Here they create an immersive album fit to stand with their classic Souvlaki or anything else in their back catalogue.
2. Star Roving
3. Don’t Know Why
4. Sugar for the Pill
5. Everyone Knows
6. No Longer Making Time
7. Go Get It
8. Falling Ashes
Sugar for the Pill: