My Bloody Valentine v. Neutral Milk Hotel
We’re a passionate bunch here at Rukkus, so it’s difficult not to get into the occasional tiff about music, because it’s a topic so close to our hearts. I’m sure you can relate. It’s a late night of bar-hopping, you’re feeling a little tired, and you just can’t accept a friend’s insistence that Dark Side of the Moon is undeniably superior to Led Zeppelin IV, or how Nirvana ran circles around Pearl Jam, or hell, even how Hootie and the Blowfish never got the recognition they deserved. They had some jams! But I digress. As subjective as music opinions usually are, most fans will never retreat from theirs; it’s just the profound effect it has on people. In the spirit of those ongoing arguments, here’s our first segment of “Band Throwdown.”
Don’t look now, but this year My Bloody Valentine released their first LP since 1991’s legendary Loveless, and they’re finally playing more shows, as well. Led by notorious perfectionist Kevin Shields, MBV are more than a nostalgia trip (although that doesn’t hurt), they can still create mind-numbing soundscapes with unrivaled skill. With their latest work, they’ve built upon a sound that’s all their own, despite the dozens of shoegaze sound-alikes they influence. If they are playing near you, go. It’s that simple.
Neutral Milk Hotel is equally obscure in that they’ve remained largely inactive since the release of In The Aeroplane Over The Sea in 1998, which has become one of the most widely renowned albums of the past 20 years. Yet much like My Bloody Valentine, they seem summoned by some unseen force to return to the stage, much to the delight of fans. Their signature concoction of folk and noise rock, combined with the rarity of seeing them live, will surely create a free-for-all to score tickets to a show.
Advantage: My Bloody Valentine – It wasn’t easy, but they’ve shown they can still release a masterpiece in the form of this year’s MBV. Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel still hasn’t been able to get out of the shadow of his 1998 magnum opus. We’ll never give up hope, though.
Don’t let us have the final word. Let us know what you think in the comments section!
Article by Nicolas White