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Review: “Hard Light” by Drop Nineteens on Wharf Cat Records

Drop Nineteens, the influential shoegaze band from the late 80s, has returned with a sonic assault on their new album, “Hard Light”. Released on Wharf Cat Records, this highly anticipated record showcases the band’s ability to create atmospheres of dreamy distortion and introspective lyricism.

“Hard Light” is a stunning achievement that captures the essence of Drop Nineteens’ trademark sound while also pushing the boundaries of the genre. The opening track, “After”, sets the tone with its swirling guitars and melancholic melodies. The song immediately transports listeners to the ethereal world that Drop Nineteens is known for.

Throughout the album, the band combines elements of noise-pop and post-punk with their shoegaze roots, resulting in a unique and refreshing sound. Tracks like “Winona” and “My Aquarium” showcase their ability to balance fuzzy, wall-of-sound guitars with catchy melodies, making for an irresistible and memorable listening experience.

One standout moment on the album is the track “Delaware”. The song begins with a simple, mesmerizing guitar riff that gradually builds into an explosive chorus of swirling guitars and crashing drums. It perfectly captures the band’s ability to create tension and release, creating a sonic landscape that is both hypnotic and exhilarating.

Lyrically, “Hard Light” delves into themes of isolation, longing, and introspection. Lead vocalist Greg Ackell delivers his poetic verses with a sense of vulnerability and introspection, taking listeners on an emotional journey. The lyrics resonate with a sense of longing and nostalgia, managing to evoke a range of emotions with their simplicity and depth.

One of the standout qualities of “Hard Light” is its immaculate production. The album’s soundscapes are lush and layered, with each instrument given its own space to shine. The guitars soar and shimmer, the drums thunder, and the bass provides a solid foundation that adds depth and weight to the songs. It is a testament to the band’s sonic vision and their attention to detail.

“Hard Light” marks a triumphant return for Drop Nineteens and solidifies their status as one of the pioneers of the shoegaze genre. The album is a captivating and compelling collection of songs that will appeal to both longtime fans and newcomers alike. With its blend of distorted guitars, introspective lyrics, and masterful production, “Hard Light” is a must-listen for anyone with an appreciation for shoegaze and dream-pop.

In conclusion, Drop Nineteens’ “Hard Light” is a remarkable album that showcases the band’s immense talent and ability to create immersive and captivating music. It is a testament to the lasting impact of shoegaze and serves as a reminder of why Drop Nineteens holds a revered place in the genre’s history. With “Hard Light”, Drop Nineteens have once again proven their relevance and solidified their position as one of shoegaze’s most essential bands.

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