Slow Crush – Aurora
Holy Roar Records
Belgian shoegaze and dream pop band Slow Crush unleash their anticipated debut album Aurora. Now, it would be hard to review this record without mentioning the classic shoegaze bands that Slow Crush are clearly looking upto, namely My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. The overdriven, reverbed guitars and Isa Holliday’s soothing and buried indecipherable vocals are undoubtedly derivative of the classic late ’80s/early ’90s Creation Records sounds. But it would be unfair to just cast Slow Crush off as one of the many bands trying to imitate this style since.
What Slow Crush lack in sonic experimentation, they make up for in their directness. Aurora opens with the fantastic ‘Glow’, cutting straight in with fast paced guitars at a galloping speed, making for a really energetic opener that gently hints at influences of post-punk and post-hardcore. ‘Tremble’ on the other hand, slows thing down to one of the more epic and majestic moments of the record, a delicate, dreamy ballad of sorts. The album is very much bookended with its best songs, as the incredible closing title track saves the most swirling, and mesmerising guitar melodies for last.
Slow Crush have a tight focus on dazzling, pretty melodies, yearning and hopeful vocal lines and an overall sound and vibe that really hits the sweet spot, with such a dreamy and evocative sonic landscape. There is plenty to admire about this concise and hook laden album, but ultimately more hardened shoegaze fans who love MBV, Ride and even newer acts like Alcest and Deafheaven may lament a lack of those more “out there” moments where the weirdness and studio experimentation whisks you away to another plain. Regardless, Slow Crush have still delivered a beautiful and enjoyable debut record, and they have made a fantastic addition to the Holy Roar roster. 7/10.
Words: Chris “Frenchie” French
Aurora is released on September 28th on CD/DD/LP through Holy Roar Records.
Pre-order here: http://www.holyroarrecords.com/products/619791-slow-crush-aurora-preorder