Get ready to dip into your Bitcoin savings (or whatever cryptocurrency the cool kids are using these days), because after five long, quiet years, My Bloody Valentine
is hitting the live stage again. Following the announcement late last year of a new album in the works, the progenitors of shoegaze announced today that they are coming out of live music retirement to perform...in Japan for the Sonicmania festival. So yeah, it's probably going to take a whole quarter of a Bitcoin to arrange a trip to see them.
It's a bummer that most of us won't be able to see them, but at least we've got a new album to look forward to. Additionally, in an effort to cheer you up a bit, I've compiled a short list of other shoegaze artists that you might be into if you like My Bloody Valentine, some old, some new, and almost all, nicely enough, still hitting the road and touring in towns and cities near you.
If you're talking shoegaze, then you're almost certainly mentioning My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. The sort of sister band of MBV, Slowdive has been around an equally impressive amount of time, and are equal sharers of the title of "godfathers of shoegaze". They're not quite as "wall of sound" distortion-oriented as MBV, but they still bring the dreamy, layered rock goodness. Plus, they released an amazing album last year, and despite their age are still touring.
Shoegaze is a bit of a niche genre, and in it are a lot of bands that have been around a while, so it's rare to find younger, newer bands on the scene. The U.K.-based Cheatahs are such a band, and carry the torch with an impassioned fury. Whereas most shoegaze bands play a slower, more deliberate style, Cheatahs deliver a cutting, rejuvenated style that emphasizes speed and aggression.
What I love so much about shoegaze is how varied the genre is, and how much influence it has passed onto other genres and styles. RIDE is a band that has done just that, as you can hear the framework for early emo bands like Mineral, American Football and Christie Front Drive in their tracks like "Vapour Trail".
Don't worry, this isn't Skrewdriver, the influential punk band that actually turned out to be just a bunch of neo-nazis. Swervedriver has been on the scene since the early 90s and to this day are still touring and slaying. A must listen.
5. Catherine Wheel
Catherine Wheel isn't shoegaze per say, but they do incorporate a lot of shoegaze elements into their 90s, college alt-rock sound. Again, shoegaze doesn't really have any hard and fast rules about what it should sound like, so it's up to you to decide. Fun fact, band member Rob Dickinson is cousins with Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson. Not so fun fact, I've been looking for a Catherine Wheel t-shirt online for over two years and I still can't find one that costs less than $120.
Their website states, "It's loud. It's Pretty. You can dance to it.", and that's really all you need to know. Airiel is perfectly heavy and blissful, the two key elements of any good shoegaze act.
7. Teenage Wrist
More of a hybrid shoegaze band, Teenage Wrist incorporates a lot of different elements into their sound, including punk and emo, and come across as a mix between MBV and Title Fight. However, they retain that crucial melodic heaviness that defines shoegaze, and along with Cheatahs, they're one of the younger bands on this list killing it and pushing the envelope of the genre.
8. No Joy
Another group of youngins, No Joy hails from the Great White North (Canada) and has a super eclectic sound. With a girl power approach, they come across as a mix of Warpaint and a garage punk band. They're also disciples of the super crunchy, super distorted school of shoegaze, which buries you under wave after wave of riffage.