Vermilion Sands

Souvlaki Slowdive

released: 1993-06-01
on label: Creation
artist: Slowdive
genres: Dream PopShoegaze
with some: Neo-Psychedelia

Though not as big and swirling as Just for a Day, there’s more of an attempt to put advanced song structure and melody in place rather than just craft infinitely appealing, occasionally thunderous mood music. Everything is simplified, as if Brian Eno’s presence on two songs – he contributes keyboards and treatments and co-wrote one tune after turning down the band’s invitation to produce – hammered home the better aspects of “ambient” music. This is no Music for Airports though. On the opening “Alison,” the largely uplifting “When the Sun Hits,” and the darkly blissful “Machine Gun,” Slowdive are still capable of mouth-opening, spine-tingling flourishes. They’ve found a way to be quiet, moving, and aggressive simultaneously, mixing trance-like beauty with the deepest delayed guitar sounds around, a sound at once relaxing, soothing, and exciting, and most of all harshly beautiful.

[SBK released Souvlaki in the U.S. a full eight months after its English release on Creation, with three-quarters of the 5 EP tacked on the end, plus one unreleased track, a memorable, spacy run through of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood’s “Some Velvet Morning.”]