Monday, August 29, 2011

Velvet Crush - In The Presence Of Greatness - 1991

Velvet Crush's first and best album was mistakenly lumped in with the then- predominant shoegazer aesthetic upon its release in 1991, thanks to its British release on the shoegazer-central Creation label and the occasional washes of sparkly electric feedback and creamy-smooth harmonies that settle over some of the songs. However, this album, produced by the band and Matthew Sweet (who also added lead guitar and harmonies), is actually a straight-up piece of '90s power pop. Considerably more electric and driving than Paul Chastain and Ric Menck's '80s recordings under a variety of band names (collected on the albums Hey Wimpus! and The Ballad of Ric Menck), thanks in large part to the contributions of guitarist Jeffrey Borchardt (confusingly known as Jeffrey Underhill when leading his own concurrent band Honeybunch) and Sweet, In the Presence of Greatness sounds like Big Star's #1 Record updated for a new decade. The general air of mildly anguished wistfulness is the same, as are the jangly guitars and high harmonies, but Velvet Crush plays with a post-punk sprightliness and a less overtly British Invasion-inspired melodic sense. -AMG

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1 comment:

Maximum Jack said...

Has it really been 20 years since this magnificent album came out? Wow. It still knocks me out.

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