While it would be fair to say there'd be no such thing as shoegaze without the first wave of psychedelic rock, the new breed of psych rockers probably wouldn't exist if the original 'gazers hadn't laid the blueprint either. Joining the dots between all three eras are Italian quartet Rev Rev Rev, and for the most part of Des Fleurs Magiques Bourdonnaient, they make each transition sound fluent to the point of being effortless.
Having initially burst onto the scene two-and-a-half years ago via their self-titled debut, the Modena based foursome have put their hearts and souls into formulating a follow-up worthy of the name. Inspired by a quote from Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations - the title translates as "Magic flowers droned" - Des Fleurs Magiques Bourdonnaient serves as a cordial melange of ideas and styles cut into 12 individual pieces. All of which teeter between shards of all out noise and distortion and quieter, more reflective compositions.
Some of the reference points make themselves known instantaneously. Others simply lie in the background, deceptively cast under the spell of Des Fleurs Magiques Bourdonnaient's creators. From the moment reverb heavy instrumental 'Buzzing Flowers Ecstasy' kickstarts the album into life, Rev Rev Rev make no bones about where their influences lie. Straddling the fine line between My Bloody Valentine's effervescent beauty and the sonic belligerence of A Place To Bury Strangers, it sets the scene instinctively for what follows.
Laura Iacuzio's Nico-esque tones punctuate the primitive death march of 'Nightwine' and flange heavy 'Travelling Westbound', the latter fairly reminiscent of The Horrors (then) sudden departure into similar territories on Primary Colours. While it's probably not unfair to say Rev Rev Rev aren't the most original band around, their delivery and execution of songs crafted for a genre currently enjoy a second wave of its own is masterful in places, and definitely not to be scoffed at.
Aided and abetted by Sebastian Lugli's sonic flights of fancy on guitar and the taut rhythm section of Andrea Dall'Omo and Greta Benatti, Iacuzio's voice acts as a focal point and guide for the majority of Rev Rev Rev's compositions. While the vocals are decidedly low in the mix and therefore lyrically indecipherable, they offer a similar level of extra instrumentation to what Liz Fraser contributed with the Cocteau Twins.
Elsewhere, tanpura player Tatiana Scalercio adds an extra element to their sound which renders both 'Ripples' and 'Aloft'into dream like odysseys. Nevertheless, Rev Rev Rev do seem more comfortable when the decibel levels are reached and its that which Des Fleurs Magiques Bourdonnaient will no doubt be remembered for.
Nonetheless, another welcome addition to the psych rock/shoegaze canon.
7Dom Gourlay's Score