The Fleeting Joys – Occult Radiance (Only Forever Recordings)

If you saw My Bloody Valentine’s reunion concert this past year and thought to yourself “That was great. Now what?” Occult Radiance may be the answer. The album uses a similar sonic palette to the one Kevin Shields and co. employed on Loveless – evident in the guitar textures and breathy vocals buried low in the mix – but the band (a duo of husband and wife John and Rorika Loring) also attack their songs a little harder than MBV ever did, kind of like the grunge-friendly shoegaze of Swervedriver or Dinosaur Jr. OK, so The Fleeting Joys rely heavily on their record collections for inspiration, but at least they use it as a launching pad for their own great songs and melodies. All eleven songs on the album are strong, but it’s hard not to be bowled over by the dreamy vocal coos mixed with viola-like guitar squalls on “Cloudlike Mercury” and the backwards-vocals crossed with pounding drums on the chorus of “Closer To My World Without Pain”, both among the best that 21st century shoegaze has to offer. If you love shoegaze (and if you’re still reading this, chances are very good you do), then head over to their Myspace page ( for more info and sounds.

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