To rise again as the Phoenix. This is what has recently happened to Slowdive. The seminal british band contributed, in the early nineties, to the explosion of shoegaze. But, while bands like Ride where praised and pushed to UK charts, they didn’t receive such a nice treatment from critics, although they became a cult band for dream pop fans.
After signing for Creation label in 1990, the band guided by Rachel Goswell and Neil Halstead produced some of the most brilliant pearls of shoegaze sounds. From Just For A Day (1991) to Souvlaki (1993) it was possible to be touched by their dreamy guitar layers, vaporous voices in the background, sad melodies. With these two albums they entered in history of rock music, but without acknowledgments (from records sales and critics) it was difficult to go on. The third episode, Pygmalion (1995), was a final provocative act from Halstead, closer to experimental post rock or ambient and a bit far from Slowdive’s typical sound. After Pygmalion the band stopped its race. But their fame continued to grow year by year, and in correspondence with the recent shoegaze revival, they were asked to reunite and to start again their path. In 2014 the band plays some praised concerts and then they decided to release a new album.
Slowdive (2017, Dead Oceans) is the result of this story. Halstead and Goswell have something else to say and emotions to share, and they are collecting the success denied in the past. This is why Slowdive are so beloved, even if there aren’t particular news in their sound and approach. “Slomo”, quiet and dreamy, wraps the listener and it seems neverending, with the guitars insinuating themselves into every heart. “Star Roving” expresses all the band’s strength in creating dreamy rides. “Sugar for the Pill” is their effort to create something close to modern pop. “Go Get It” is a slow and dark song in which you can find a “blend” of different languages of the guitars. A comforting come back, a collection of intense songs, the deserved success.