Monday 29 July 2013

ShiShi - Eternal Bliss

Album review by

A year on from their inception, Philadelphia husband and wife duo ShiShi bring us their debut album, and having picked up on them upon the release of their debut EP 'So Close To You', it's somewhat gratifying to have these songs (including single 'Hold You Truths') gathered together in a compendium like this, with of course, a whole load of tunes that are new to our ears. It seems to be only 'Just Like Flowers' that didn't make the cut, but its absence is more than made up for in what we do have; ten songs that deliver a whole new form of what you could describe as dreampop, but would also fit the description nightmare pop, and that's not to say it's bad, it's anything but, however the gritty and harsh sounds are at odds with many in the same scene.

Tom Lugo has been making music for quite some time as a member of various projects and that experience shines through on 'Eternal Bliss', making sure they're carving their own niche and that the quality control is kept high. With so many of the songs containing lyrics that deal with the power of love and emotion, it seems almost paradoxical that the music is so sharp and cutting. "I will try, I will sigh, write your name across the sky... I will do anything for you" is among the many examples of this. Such romance dealt with by fiery guitar, forceful vocals and an almost industrial feel. It could be this approach that makes the album work so well; ShiShi take the expected and twist it into the unexpected, and it works. The maelstrom of sound adds more force and devotion to the tale of love, it feels like sheer determination as opposed to soppiness.

The acerbic shoegaze of 'Turn Back The Clocks' is noisy yet the guitar rings crystal clear, adding more credibility to their unusual technique. As we previously mentioned, the likes of 'Nick Of Time' and 'Season Of The Bitch' are what The Big Pink's second album should have sounded like, combining the coarse electronics with the guitar effects and creating a real force. New track 'The Vow' introduces some big beats and an atmosphere that soars that little bit higher, again it's a different form of love song that combines the past and the future musically, and the title-track sounds as lovably hectic as ever. The shoegazey 'Rewind' is a highlight and offers a brief respite from the pounding beats, but these return with a vengeance on the noise-pop of 'Generation Waste'. The album finishes on a high with the chiming, noisy electro-gaze of 'Illuminate The Sky'. 'Eternal Bliss' is an album with jagged edges but a soft centre, and although it occasionally borrows, as a rule ShiShi have a sound that's uniquely their own.

ShiShi's website

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