Vaadat Charigim

The World Is Well Lost

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Roughly translated from Hebrew, the name of Israeli shoegaze trio Vaadat Charigim means "Exceptions Committee." In interviews, the bandmembers said they chose the name because they liked how it sounded, but also because it had a '90s kind of ring to it, like the name of a band you'd see on a teenage soap opera in that decade. This bit of information may seem like a tossed-off aside, but listening to the cavernous and washed-out sounds on their debut full-length, The World Is Well Lost, the reference makes a lot of sense. Clearly drenched in the influence of the early-'90s shoegaze cavalry, songs like the epic "Kmo Lahzor Habaita" sound like a holy hybrid of Ride's wistful dreaminess and Slowdive's protracted druggy slow-motion guitar haze. Vaadat Charigim avoid relying too heavily on the trappings of the most-cited deity of the shoegaze canon, steering clear of warpings, delirious key changes, and other My Bloody Valentine-isms that many young shoegaze upstarts embarrass themselves trying to re-create. With all of their reverence for the shoegaze masters, songwriting takes the front seat over emulation here, with a jaunty, upbeat, and surprisingly clear-headed approach to songs like "Ze Beseder Lefahed" and melodic album closer "Mahshefot." In these moments, Vaadat Charigim have more in common with contemporaries like DIIV and Wild Nothing than their respective influences, though the waves of effected guitar tones are underpinned by the same winsome pop sensibility shared by the Feelies and the Go-Betweens. The entire album is delivered in thick Hebrew, but the vocals are mixed with the same buried, indiscernible character as most of the classic shoegaze records, so close inspection would be necessary to sort out whatever message they're trying to convey regardless of language. On the whole, the album glides by deftly, more interesting and less derivative than most 2010s shoegaze revival acts, and the underlying pop heart of some songs makes them stand out among the pleasantly dreamy others.

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