Album Reviews

Sciflyer: The Age Of Lovely, Intimate Things (Elephant Stone)

sciflyer

Sciflyer
The Age Of Lovely, Intimate Things
Elephant Stone

Once upon a time, shoegazer (or dream pop, or bliss pop, or whatever) was a niche market, with very little credibility aside from the fanatics who loved My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Lush, and a handful of other bands. Little groups came and went, developing cult followings before disappearing back into the hazy ether from whence they came. Over the last few years, though, the genre has become much more important and visible in mainstream music circles, with once-small bands returning from obscurity to find that their reputation has grown considerably.

One such band is Sciflyer. Hailing from California, and led by Steve Kennedy, the band became a stalwart of the leading US shoegaze/dream pop label of the era, Clairecords. After self-releasing a handful of EP’s, they signed to the label in 2003, and released their excellent debut album, Fair-Weather Karma. Their follow-up release, The Age Of Lovely, Intimate Things, was a mini-album that has just been expanded, remastered, and reissued.

It’s easy to understand why this little record is being reissued; it’s a fun little slice of bliss-pop (or dream pop or shoe gaze or whatever the hell you wanna call it). At the time, yours truly loved the pulsating groove of “The Nation,” with its sunny-day haze and California sun vibe. Sure, the vocals were obscured by the music, but that’s exactly what you’d come to expect from the genre. I was also fond of the jangle-pop of “The Same Thing Goes For Christmas,” and the unedited take of “Proixma Centauri” found here (now titled “Pacific NW”) is still as jaunty as the original. “Never Come Down” turns from the British-minded shoe gazing side of the pond and aims straight at American psych-rock; it’s hard not to think of Brian Jonestown Massacre when you delve into the song’s thirteen minutes.

Does this mark a return for Sciflyer? Interesting to see how it plays out. Last year, they released an odds-and-sods EP entitled Energizer that sounded real nice, so maybe the book isn’t closed just yet….

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