My Bloody Valentine - You Made Me Realise (Cover Artwork)

My Bloody Valentine

You Made Me Realise (1988)

Creation Records

You Made Me Realise is the first single and EP from My Bloody Valentine for Creation Records. It was also their first release to gain critical acclaim amongst music critics at the time. At this point, MBV started to perfect their now trademark style of shoegaze, thus becoming masters of the art of face-melting, reverb-hitting, noise-killing sounds that can make one become glazed over in pure, unfiltered euphoria. The title track became infamous in their live shows; one portion, "The Holocaust Section," when played live would repeat a single chord for as long as the band felt bearable, often at times reaching levels of around 130 dB. (Pretty close to the sound of a jet engine taking off)

When the reunion shows happened back in 2009, people gathered around to see this cult band perform songs that no-one ever thought would happen live. It was pure nostalgia, but also one of those moments where space and time shifted and the thought of, "Is this really happening?" came to mind. "You Made Me Realise" is a simple song with fuzzy riffs and a sort of punk progression, but then later switches into a more artsy sort of movement where the high powered screeches and ear-splitting howl of guitars blend in with the drums and bass, thus creating an eargasmic cacophony of pure white noise. And then of course it comes back down to earth and the chorus is repeated and then finished.

Besides the title track, the rest of the EP is exceptional as well. "Slow" is lo-fi and heavy on the doses of overdubbed guitars and distortion. Kevin Shields is the genius of this style and his talents are spread throughout these tracks. He also can sing well too, but is mostly upstarted by Belinda Butcher. Her grace and downplayed voice is fitting with the music; usually becoming a part of the overall sound as a whole. "Thorn" is a rambling groover; making a picture of speed and outer space flight. The guitars are once again the highlight, swooping through the song like lighting through the clouds. Colm Ó Cíosóig is a wonderful drummer and his pace sets the songs in motion with nice patterns and additions to the wall of sound. The snares add to the noise and the beats give the songs heart, which the same can be said for bassist Debbie Googe and her simple, yet powerful tempos and thumps.

The highlight though is definitely "Cigarette in You Bed." Many layers are added here, with acoustics taking center stage throughout the duration. The track proves to be a more modest one; not withholding any energy, but more refined and soothing. Butcher excels in her vocal delivery, making the lyrics calm and personal. Closing song "Drive It All Over Me" is another strong delivery and downplayed concoction, carefully crafted and the leading point to future releases.

MBV is a special band. A band which nailed perfection for a style they pretty much created. Their masterpiece, 1991's Loveless, is a test of one's ability to understand and accept the art of noise. There is a strange sense of beauty filtered in their music, and with the right time, place and possibly headphones, anyone can get the sonic landscapes of color and sound.