Medicine - 'To The Happy Few'
Beth Thompson’s vocals, while dreamy, ethereal, sugarcoated and other such adjectives, are FX-treated until they sound almost ungendered.
7 / 10
One unsatisfying thing about the early ’90s shoegaze scene was how few of My Bloody Valentine’s peers even came close to challenging the flagship band for radical formlessness or brutal extremity. LA ensemble Medicine, a then-rare example of American shoegaze, gave it a spirited crack over three feedback-pickled albums, two of which were recently reissued by Captured Tracks in advance of this sprightly comeback album. Straight out of the blocks, they scour ears with multi-tracked stacks of atonal guitar and booming drums (‘Long As The Sun’). And their tastes for cheery melody, or rather their gleeful suppression of it, lead to tracks like the mangled folk-rocker ‘The End Of The Line’. Beth Thompson’s vocals, while dreamy, ethereal, sugarcoated and other such adjectives, are FX-treated until they sound almost ungendered. ‘To The Happy Few’ might be a fairly transparent attempt to relive Medicine’s salad days, but there are many worse sources they could mine for inspiration.
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