Saturday 13 July 2013

The Sorry Shop - Mnemonic Syncretism

Album review by

Brazil might not be the first country you'd look to for a decent shoegaze band, but The Sorry Shop won't be the first we've featured from that country, and we hope they won't be the last. Perhaps being free from the confines of the British and American music press (both known to be fickle on occasion) gives bands the opportunity to feel as though they can do whatever they like and not worry about what marks it'll get from Pitchfork or NME or whatever trendy magazine/website we're supposed to be following. This sextet formed in 2011 and 'Mnemonic Syncretism' will be their second album. It's about as close to pure shoegaze as you can get, coming in different forms which prevents monotony, but with enough cohesion to make for a solid listen.

If it's big, loud walls of noise that you're after then we can point you in the direction of 'Star Rising', a song that's also full of melody; 'Rooftops Of Any Town' which isn't dissimilar to A Place To Bury Strangers and contains more contorted guitars; you're tricked into thinking 'Protect' will be a blissful, ambient track, but that's just the calm before the storm and it soon explodes into towers of guitar and vocals that are so heavily treated they become simply another instrument. 'Know Me Right' is a big highlight, full of sparkles and fuzz and a driving rhythm that could be from Ceremony's 'Rocket Fire', and that's a high compliment. Evoking memories of shoegaze bands long gone is 'The Lesser Blessed' which has a classic sound that will appeal to anyone who's ever been a fan of the genre. They don't just have the sound perfected, the tunes are a match for most too.

As well as creating a beautiful noise, shoegaze and dreampop are about making lush, drifting, misty-eyed songs. The Sorry Shop can do that too. 'Cold Song' recalls The Radio Dept. at their brilliant best; the title-track slows the pace too, leaving creaking guitars to mingle with the heavy percussion; it has the title of an atmospheric, cosmic piece, and 'Away To Mars' just about is, although compared to much "ambient" music this is ferocious. Some songs like the majestic 'Sulfur' sit somewhere in between, helping the tracks to unite as one complete body of work and become less fractured, the vocals wrapped deep in the cocoon of sound. The Sorry Shop finish on a high note with the discordant blast of post-punky noise that is 'Awaken Dream' and all seems right in the world. This isn't just a good album, it's the best shoegaze album of the year so far.

The Sorry Shop's website

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