[sic] Magazine

The Meeting Places – You And I EP

And it’s 1989 again. The Meeting Places founded in LA in 2001 over a shared love of bands like Ride, Spaceman 3 and, you guessed it, My Bloody Valentine . I think You And I is their first release for Saint Marie having previously had their output via Words On Music. They are both labels for whom I have a lot of time.

What I appreciate most about shoegaze is that behind the ‘up front’ guitar onslaught there often lurks a simple vocal melody. Whether the singer is wan, croaky or lost in swirls of echo, reverb and distortion he or she (he in this case) remains vital to our overall appreciation. That voice becomes our ‘leaf in the wind’, or rider on the storm. Without it there’s no way to contextualize the experience. More often than not that buried vocal melody is pure sixties pop. Phil Spector was, after all, the granddaddy of all of this. Indeed what we have here is classic ‘wall of sound’ fare. An overload of pedal effects carry both listener and singer like surfers atop a precarious wave. As the tube closes around us we know that total engulfment is the only outcome. We let ourselves go under.

From the EPs four offerings the opening title track probably works best, hence its prominence. Very Jesus And Mary Chain. ‘Patricia Jane’ sounds superbly rendered and puts me in mind of label mates Amusement Parks On Fire. However The Meeting Places might be flirting with a law suit on ‘Stay The Same’. The EPs third track is purest Interpol. Think ‘Slow Hands’…except in the hand of early Film School.

Lawyer up guys!

Final track ‘Fallout’ is more twinkly and the song itself actually reminds me a little of eighties act Breathless. It is all done very well though. If you’re in the market for some old skool ‘gazer this will do the job. My only concern would be whether The Meeting Places have enough of their own unique personality or style to stand out from the crowd.

You And I is out now for download. A pledge campaign exists for a planned physical release in July. Please visit Saint Marie and pre-order.

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