FOR ANYONE wishing to go back to 1992, and those just curious to see what that year felt and sounded like, the best means - in the absence of a TARDIS - is to play the second track from Slowdive's new album.
'Star Roving' has the kind of dramatic rush; surging energy; hazy, woozy psychedelica; and those wall of sound, distorted guitars, both overwhelming and utterly seductive, which are the hallmark of 'shoegaze' - a style Slowdive were among the key pioneers of, along with Ireland's My Bloody Valentine and Lush (check their 'Starlust' from '92 to see what I mean ).
Slowdive is the English band's first album in 22 years. So is it a case they've ignored everything which has happened since and picked up where 1995's Pygmalion left off? Perhaps, but music has also come full circle, and over the past seven/eight years the number of new indie bands exploring the shoegaze style has been noticeable, so why not return?
Yet, this is no mere exercise in nostalgia. Opener 'Slomo' and closer, 'Falling Ashes' feel like the work of mature adults, in their lyrical themes, but also in their atmospheres and textures. This is what shoegaze sounds like when grown-up - ruminative, contemplative, at great ease with the now, but still able for the occasional wild, energetic (backward glancing ), flurry.