ALMOST AS soon as the 1990s hit the '20 years ago' mark, a generation of young bands, many barely old enough to remember the decade, delved headlong into exploring the indie-rock sounds of that time, in the process reviving many of the styles of that era.
However, it was not the obvious, dominant styles of that era - grunge and Britpop - that bands like Yuck!, Field Mouse, Alvvays, and Virgina trio Eternal Summers went for. Instead it was the prevailing, if commercially more modest performing, sound of the early 1990s that attracted these bands - shoegaze. Shoegaze is characterised by claustrophobic walls of sounds and dense, distorted, yet not heavy, guitars, topped with vocals reveling in impeccable harmonies, and a keen sense of clever pop-hooks, that still remain left-field.
Such characteristics are present and correct on Gold and Stone, Eternal Summers fourth album, and band leader Nicole Yun has cited major shoegazers Lush as an influence. Indeed Lush's sound is all over 'The Roses', while on the American side, Belly is clearly audible on tough, energetic 'Play Dead'. Yet to say this album is an exercise in 1990s fan-boy recreation and nostalgia would be unfair. The aforementioned songs, as well as the balmy 'Ebb Tide', sublime ballad 'Stars You Named', and closer 'Bloom', show a band with a keen sense of melody, pace, and dynamics, and there is an infectious enthusiasm to what Eternal Summers do.
They wear their influences on their sleeve, but they make it work very nicely indeed.
Eternal Summers play the Róisín Dubh tomorrow (Friday September 11 ) at 9pm. Admission is free.