Kevin Shields breaks some new ground with his band‘s first album since 1991. But some things never change

Kevin Shields

Kevin Shields: a whimsical attitude to deadlines. Photograph: Dove Shore/Getty

Alexis Petridis from guardian.co.uk wrote that in one sense, the arrival of My Bloody Valentine‘s m b v was – to use a word no one had heard of the last time the quartet released an album – an omnishambles. A follow-up to 1991’s Loveless was supposed to appear at the end of last year; instead, nothing happened bar an announcement that the album was complete. Nine days ago, in response to a fan’s shouted query at a gig, Kevin Shields muttered noncommittally that it “might be out in two or three days“.

By the end of last week, with a website called isthenewmybloodyvalentinealbumoutyet.com still displaying nothing but the word NO, the mood among even the band’s diehard fans had turned distinctly sour. On the band’s Facebook page, people were talking angrily about not buying the album even if it did come out. One posted a photograph of Shields with the words DON’T BELIEVE HIS LIES written across it. An aggrieved Chilean called him “terrible”, adding something in Spanish that when translated, alas, proved to be enormously derogatory about Shields’s mother.

Then, when the album finally did appear to download, just before midnight on Saturday, the band’s redesigned website immediately and repeatedly crashed, or refused to accept payment, causing an enterprising person in Indiana to try to involve the US president himself. “The My Bloody Valentine website isn’t working and there’s a new record on it,” read a petition filed on the White House website. “We the people hereby petition the Obama administration to make it work again.”

In another sense, however, this was just a very My Bloody Valentine kind of album launch. For one thing, it isn’t really a My Bloody Valentine album unless someone has been driven to the brink of insanity by Shields’s whimsical attitude to deadlines.

For another, My Bloody Valentine have always moved in ways that weren’t so much mysterious as inexplicable. If it’s hard to account for the sheer length of time m b v has apparently taken to complete, then it was equally hard to account for the band’s transformation from middling indie artists to arguably the most original and influential guitar band of their era, which seemed to happen overnight in 1988 with You Made Me Realise, a single that bore virtually no relation to anything they had previously released.

More abot m b v from Alex Petridis http://bit.ly/XTb4tU

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