The band members of Tideland refer to their hometown of Sterling, Virgina as a sleepy place but any residents living in the vicinity must surely argue the opposite based on the grungy noises the group produces on their newest album, ‘Lull’. Or maybe those residents should just take out their earplugs because they’re missing a treat.
The album begins with what sounds like a multitude of guitars, clanging, crashing and duelling with each other. Then the vocals kick in, the frontman snarling his way through a barrage of savage but melodic noise. It’s a great start, of course. ‘Miless’ begins in similar fashion, hurtling towards another guitar storm but two minutes in there is a lovely instrumental segment more redolent of a slowed-down Josef K than any of the shoegaze sect. It’s arguably the key moment of the whole album. Having said, there’s a noticeable consistency in quality on these eight tracks, with each song lasting an average of five minutes and there’s more than enough energy and tight musicianship in evidence to justify the song lengths. Variations to the theme are offered via the Western-themed ‘Desolate’ and the combination of ringing, distorted guitars reaches another peak for ‘Dinosaur’.
A minor quibble would be that the constantly growling vocals of Jon Hand and Chris Wright aren’t quite the equal of their brilliantly incisive guitar work but with the complex and thrilling sounds these guys make, it’s easy to forgive them. Furthermore, put aside all snarling, effects and racket, that melodic heart beats away on every song. This means good news for fans of My Bloody Valentine and especially Swervedriver.
My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver