The Chambermaids

China Blue

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Two years after their sterling debut mini-LP Down in the Berries, this Twin Cities dream pop foursome concocts an equally great follow-up single. Guitarist Neil Weir and bassist Martha Weir still coalesce cutting male/female harmonic, cooing in spellbinding sibling cohesion; they're an absolutely delicious throwback to hallowed Brit tandems Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher (My Bloody Valentine), Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell (Slowdive), and even, for one memorable single, Miki Berenyi (Lush) and Jarvis Cocker (Pulp). And crucially, whereas many modern shoegazers -- even good ones -- become so lost in the (admittedly delectable) guitar vapors that the genre demands that they forget to attach a killer tune and a sense of drive, China Blue is instantly pop-tastic and utterly urgent, affixed as it is to a repeating, glass-threatening, sharp-edged Sleepover Disaster/1990-1992 Boo Radleys-esque guitar line. Not just an excuse for reverb pedals set to grind, China Blue is as gnarly as it is knelling, as loud as it is lovely, and as densely demanding as it is decorous.