Release Date: May 9, 2006
Record label: Playlouder
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
When you put this album on for the first time, you can perhaps understand why some have branded Serena Maneesh as neo-shoegazers. The often tranquil vocals are extremely floaty-sounding, drenched in reverb and buried deep in the mix, very much like those heard on what came to be the Bible of shoegaze -- My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. The bouncy, fill-heavy drumming also resembles that typical of the genre, at times not unlike Loz Colbert.
Oslo's Serena Maneesh have a dream, and that dream is for it to be perpetually 1991; the year when fuzzy guitars were god, staring floorwards was a sign of an outgoing personality, and spiralling off into six-minute-long, lyric-less opuses was the height of musical sophistication. So it's handy that we're in the midst of an ever-growing shoegaze revival, where this album slots in a treat. It distinguishes itself from its retrogressive contemporaries with the added thrill of nascent garage rock leanings, from the chugging Selina's Melodie Fountain to the vicious Beehiver II.
As a lad of 14 years, I was smitten with the dreamy, lightly depressive, reverb-heavy blend of rock now called “shoegaze.” It seemed an appropriate buffer against ominous, painful emotions for which I did not yet have a proper vocabulary. I routinely stayed up late to catch the latest ‘gaze jams on WNCW’s ARC Overnight, Western North Carolina’s only remotely “alternative” radio showcase back in ’92. I was awake and excited when the DJ devoted a set to Loveless, the hotly anticipated new slab from My Bloody Valentine, a UK outfit that, from what I read, was the bee’s balls of this thick, sad world in which I had set up camp.