Medicine – To The Happy Few Medicine – To The Happy Few

Medicine - To The Happy Few (2013)

Medicine – To The Happy Few (2013)

I’ve never really been fan of shoegaze. Yes, I’ve enjoyed some Jesus and Mary Chain here and there, now and then and, of course, I own Loveless but – for the most part – I find the genre to be a lackluster exercise in burdened intellectualism reserved for haute nerds whose talent lies not so much in musicianship as gadgetry and a profound sense of privileged boredom.

The sound of existential amplifiers smoking Gauloises in the john considering the low hum of their Proustian circuitry.

But Medicine were different. Medicine were fun. Not big fun like the slithering godheads surviving the name of rock and roll but fun enough that they weren’t afraid to bang their heads and smile as the pink noise swelled on subculture pastiche and the drum kit shook the heavens and Beth Thompson swooned so subtly breathless and LA blonde it made my lungs shrink to dust.

And I loved them. Loved them so much that I can tell you with unwavering certainty that I have listened to the song “Never Click” (off of The Buried Life) at least three times a week for twenty fucking years. TWENTY YEARS! And when I learned they were returning after their ’95 break up (and recent, excellent Captured Tracks expanded reissuing of their first two LPs) I was cautiously elated and more than a little bit terrified because – let’s face it – a whole lot of this reunion shtick making the rounds these last few years is some penny-scraping bullshit capitalizing on a youth culture doomed to retrofit itself out of existence and though it’s fine and dandy to see the band you loved like fuck (or missed, as is more often the case) in high school time is unkind to sentimentality and that new My Bloody Valentine album was a warm jar of horse piss that I pray we’ll never EVER have to speak of ever fucking again.

Mercifully, Medicine is not MBV and never has been and though their pedal happy approach to tsunami guitar waves is kin, their Pet Sounds approach to schizophrenic pop potpourri is decidedly their own and is as gleeful and weird on their new release To The Happy Few as it was back when they were living (which is pretty amazing actually when you consider the seductive depths of digital horror and/or studio wizardry available to any dipshit with a Macbook and a pen) alternating feedback scours with light seduction, pulse pounds with lilting sublimity and cheer…just so much cheer.

And, yeah, it’s kinda confusing. I know. I know. A wax that wanes in the light fantastic wonder of collage like Eno for the summer son rumbling towards an endlessness like the immortal jellyfish in kaleidoscopic sunglasses tingling electric psychedelics until the dreams go pop. But it’s a wonder to behold, to enjoy as a rolling whole or as a thousand glittering pieces, deconstructed.

To The Happy Few is a maze of stylistic odds and curiosities, unfolded with pride and purpose for the grateful many who remember what it was like to have their young minds blown wide by the pleasures of musical daring.

Amen, Medicine. Amen.

To The Happy Few Tracklist:
01 – Long As The Sun
02 – It’s Not Enough
03 – Burn It
04 – Holy Crimes
05 – The End Of The Line
06 – Butterfly’s Out Tonight
07 – All You Need To Know
08 – Find Me Always
09 – Pull The Trigger
10 – Daylight

Medicine - To The Happy Few, reviewed by Charles on 2013-08-12T03:57:08-07:00 rating 4.1 out of 5

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