Neverfigure by Gentlyfall (Review)

I mean, you name the shoegaze accoutrement, they’ve got it.
Neverfigure - Gentlyfall

I saw the band name and instantly I thought “Heh… I know where this is going.” I was mostly right. Although the bio claims the moniker to be a Darling Buds song title, there’s a huge Slowdive influence going on here. As well as recognizable MBV and Chapterhouse things… a Ride thing… a Kitchens of Distinction thing… a Boo Radleys thing… and maybe I’m stretching, but especially in the vocal approach, a Violet Burning thing?! I think you see where I’m going and where Gentlyfall went.

I mean, you name the shoegaze accoutrement, they’ve got it. Wordsruntogetherassongtitles? Check. Heavily reverbed choirboy vocals? Check. Both kinds of pretty guitar sound, clean and dirty? Check, check. Gratuitous phasing, flanging, and echo? Check, check, check. Both kinds of emotion — indifference and infatuation? Check, check.

But hey, this is 2001, baby. The whole second wave shoegaze thing is in full swing. Everything else’s been rehashed and exhumed, and that era did give us the reinvention of the rock guitar (courtesy of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless), so why not? All the usual comments here — proficient musicianship, decent songs, swoony melodies, dreamy melodic vocals, lots of potential — should stay together and gel.

But you know… screw up the production a bit more. Dirty up the guitars further. Pillage other countries’ music for depth and influences (hell, they’re from Australia, where’s the didg?!). Make basses sound like dinosaurs and drums sound like basketballs. Either jettison about half the synths (remember, it was about effects pedals, not the dirty rotten new wave keyboards of the evil ’80s) or make them sound more like something on Warp, and open up the emotional palette a bit. Get mad. Get abstract. Look deeper. Say yes only after you’ve said no a few times.

Written by Pearson Greer.