The New Record by My Bloody Valentine by My Bloody Valentine is the second extended-play release by the Irish indie/alternative legends, following up the mini-album This Is Your Bloody Valentine1 and first extended-play Geek!. This short release demonstrates the band’s complete abandonment of the overt gothic rock and post-punk textures that characterized their initial recordings for experiments in noise rock.2 David Conway completely forsook his early post-nasal drip goth voice, opting for a cleaner and richer sound that is quite similar to Kevin Shields’ delivery during the Isn’t Anything era.
The tracks are short; nothing reaches past the three-minute mark. That’s not a bad thing; the group’s previous two recordings meandered so much that finding a stand-out track would be a fool’s errand. The New Record show the group’s propensity for tight, fast-paced songwriting that would become their shtick until the Loveless sessions. Each song is thoroughly awash in noise – it’s an early adoption of the wall-of-sound approach that would be present in some capacity for the rest of the band’s career. Yet the band had not quite perfected how to wash their sound in noise without it becoming soaked: all four tracks blend together, with only the choral melodies of “Lovelee Sweet Darlene” and “On Another Rainy Saturday” standing out in any big respect.
Whereas the first two releases contained extremely mediocre gothic rock lyrics of unrequited love and being out at night (spooky!), The New Record demonstrated the group’s thematic turns to darker and more sensitive subject matter. The Conway era of My Bloody Valentine may be one that fans (and the band itself) rather prefer to ignore, but he heavily influenced the group’s lyrical foundation in graphic sex and mental dysfunction. They’re not as subversive as Sunny Sundae Smile or Isn’t Anything,4 yet they’re still curious.
For example: “Lovelee Sweet Darlene” sounds like a cutesy C86 love song – and it is, except toward acid rather than a human love interest. “By the Danger in Your Eyes” gets a bit heavy in its description of the naked female body of the protagonist’s partner, but an easy-to-miss lyric about “there’s a kindness in your nature / life is for (child)” switches gears into a Lolita-esque interpretation. “Another Rainy Saturday” sounds like a stalker’s perspective, with the lines “it makes your legs so wet / wear your raincoat inside out” getting suddenly explicit. And finally, “We’re So Beautiful,” which pretty much wears its subject matter on its sleeve with “sexual revelations, yeah / why don’t you let it all hang out / don’t you wanna scream and shout, oh yeah / oh we’re so beautiful.”5
As with most of the early My Bloody Valentine releases, The New Record stands better as a curious addition to the group’s history and evolution rather than be an extended-play with the value of You Made Me Realise or Sunny Sundae Smile.6
1. Lovelee Sweet Darlene – (2:15) – ★★★☆☆
2. By the Danger in Your Eyes – (2:52) – ★★★☆☆
3. Another Rainy Saturday – (2:43) – ★★★★☆
4. We’re So Beautiful – (2:34) – ★★★☆☆
1Guess they really wanted to make sure that you didn’t forget their name.
2… upon which the band would further expound with the release of the Sunny Sundae Smile, Ecstasy, and Strawberry Wine extended-plays.3
3My Bloody Valentine really likes the whole extended-play format.
4Soft as snow but warm inside? Mmm girl.
5Dunno about y’all, but that’s definitely something I’ve said and heard post-coitus.
6Firmly believe this to be the most underrated release in the band’s discography.