To the Happy Few
Aug 05, 2013 Web Exclusive
Everything that made admirers fall in love with the shoegaze genre the first time around (and has made them giddy with its recent revival) is exploited on Medicine's latest outing. Eighteen years on from when the original line-up split, Brad Laner et al show no signs of abandoning their quest to emulate the quintessential Kevin Shields sound: the androgynous vocals throughout the album, the wind tunnel effect on "Holy Crimes," the sawing-yet-ethereal guitars on "Burn It," the proto-metal drumming on "Butterfly's Out Tonight." The issue is that these all feel a little too present and correct to really stir up excitement for the return of an iconic band.
Instead, it's the extras that Medicine bring to the table that set them apart from their contemporaries (remember this is a band that, in 1994, toured with Spiritualized, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Curve). Laner's keyboards are the key weapon here, best exemplified on the summery "The End of the Line" or lead single "Long as the Sun," in which a speaker-shredding drone gives way to a cacophonous sunburst of sound. It's these moments that set To the Happy Few apart: the expected abrasive nastiness that should go hand in hand with such a noisy band is cast aside in favour of something genuinely light. (www.capturedtracks.com/shoegaze-archives/medicine/)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 7/10