What can be said about the anticipated My Bloody Valentine album that you don’t already know? We’re all aware of the 22-year lull between ‘Loveless’ and ‘m b v’, which, in February 2013, is finally released. Listening to ‘m b v’ is both an exciting and daunting prospect. How would they be able to transfer their original ideas onto their current recordings? What if it’s horrendous? What if it’s actually better than ‘Loveless’? Luckily they paused everyone’s concern by launching their website at midnight last night (Feb 2), which immediately crashed and didn’t regain consciousness for hours, leaving fans waiting just one more time. But none of this matters, even if it is MBV- the music needs to be good. An eventual purchase of the album finds 9 tracks of noise. This is not a bad thing. ‘she found now’ opens with a tremolo chord out of the low, sludgy mix of bass, and it seems that this album may be part two of ‘Loveless’. The vocals are indistinguishable, yet more audible than its 1991 counterpart, and the trance-like state induced by closer ‘Soon’ is regained here. It takes ten seconds of ‘only tomorrow’ to know that, firstly, this definitely is not a ‘Loveless’ clone and secondly that this is one of the most glorious songs to enter our ears. The clear sound of Butcher’s vocals and wonderfully trippy drums pave the way to an climactic chorus which consists of one simple scale slide, up, up, up, as rib-achingly, subtly sexual as MBV always were. ‘who sees you’ seems a bit too safe, however. Of course, it still sounds lovely, its six minutes spread across faded distortion and hushed vocals, but it’s too ‘typical MBV’, where the rest of the album spreads its talents far wider. ‘is this and yes’ redeems it with the band at their most surreal yet, a song whose clanging insomniac synths are just waiting to be put in a movie soundtrack. ‘if i am’s psychedelic beat and spaced lead guitar are so authentically 90s, it almost makes up for the fact that they spent 90% of the decade not releasing this record. ‘new you’ is summery in the way MBV haven’t been since the ‘Glider’ EP. Yet again, having the drums in full clarity makes all the difference; everything feels lighter, easier to listen, but it’s still the same band the world fell in love with. However, on ‘in another way’ the cacophony of awkward, stagnant noise fails to succeed in being as trippy or ‘modern’ as it is trying to be. ‘nothing is’ is a hard listen, ridiculously repetitive and with a beat which does not make sense even to the least rhythmic of people, but the tension and sheer arrogance of it make it beautiful within itself, rounding the album off with a pounding farewell. It’s encored by one final song, ‘wonder 2’, which hints at the drum ‘n’ bass influence, seemingly with an aeroplane landing somewhere in the mix. The sound is distracting, and almost ruins the song, but it still, somehow, makes perfect sense. In short- was it worth the wait? Probably not. Is it incredible? Of course it is, it’s My Bloody Valentine. It’s not the consistent perfection of ‘Loveless’, it’s not the extreme noise of ‘Isn’t Anything’, but it’s the perfect bridge between the two. In a time where young bands are trying to emulate 90s shoegaze, the leaders of the pack are pushing boundaries, steering away from their own creation. And it’s all the better for it. Welcome back MBV, cheers for creating another annoyingly brilliant album.