My Bloody Valentine

Ecstasy and Wine

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Before Kevin Shields was a guitar god, before Isn't Anything and Loveless became seminal classics, My Bloody Valentine were a struggling goth band trying to find their place in the music scene. When they disposed of their original singer, they started moving toward Cocteau Twins territory, using guitarist Bilinda Butcher's airy voice to redefine their image. Ecstasy and Wine, which combines the two EPs that came before Isn't Anything, is the sound of a band discovering its unique voice. "Strawberry Wine" is a gorgeous pop gem, with Shields and Butcher exploring the guitar landscapes that would later become their trademark. Both "Can I Touch You" and "Clair" are rare examples of My Bloody Valentine's talent for making swaggering hard rock ditties. Although a few of the songs lean toward the pop/rock of the Jesus and Mary Chain, it is quite amazing how even at this stage they seemed to understand the sound that would make them unique. Fans of the band will find this album essential, and even curious onlookers may find themselves drawn in by the gorgeous sound of one of the most unique bands in rock history.

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