Twenty-two years after its genre-codifying shoegaze masterwork “Loveless,” My Bloody Valentine didn’t have to do much to satisfy devotees of its seductively dissonant rock. The most stunning thing about its 9-track return (made online over the weekend) isn’t how effortlessly Kevin Shields and Co. have picked up where they left off; it’s the effort itself. While the sound of “mbv” is reassuringly familiar — openers “she found now” and “only tomorrow” tread melodic paths that seem strangely familiar even as they wander — its newness is remarkable. “in another way” opens with a thrilling tangle of gnarly feedback before Shields’s guitars heave forth as though blown by gusts of wind. “is this and yes” spreads out in a glowing vista of synths and Bilinda Butcher’s airy vocals, while the frenzied charge of “nothing is” conjures the trash-trances of Lightning Bolt. And as faithfully as “who sees you” revives the band’s most deafeningly beautiful moments, “wonder 2” doesn’t hesitate to bury them in the howl of jet engines.
MICHAEL ANDOR BRODEUR
ESSENTIAL “who sees you”