Something Awful music expert and NASA forklift driver Dr. David Thorpe has returned from a long hiatus to tackle a milestone in rock-nerd ballyhoo: the overdue reissue of My Bloody Valentine's classic Loveless album, which Thorpe once described as "a waterfall of sludge" and "the sound of two bands playing at once, underwater."

It's a testament to the legendary laziness of Kevin Shields that the remaster of Loveless was finished for four years before he bothered releasing it. Sure, he can lie to the press about legal red tape and label malfeasance, but this is a guy who hasn't put out a new album in two decades-- you could fit the Beatles' entire recording career into that gap twice and still have room left over for a few Wings records. Do you think he really noticed four years go by? No; he probably dropped the remaster between his couch cushions and only found it during a desperate spelunk for a wayward Cheeto. Shame on him for trying to pass the buck to a sweet, blameless record label.

He's lazy as fuck, people. I mean, the guy is friends with J. Mascis, and J. Mascis consistently smokes him in the prolificness derby. And fucking look at J. Mascis, dude. Shields got lapped five times by a broken-down human van.

(And before you get on my case for not writing any Your Band Sucks columns for the last five years, fuck you, it's totally different-- I recorded a couple of experimental drum-and-bass-influenced columns, but I shelved them because they didn't live up to my perfectionist standards.)

So what can My Bloody Valentine fans expect from the long-awaited Loveless reissue? Bliss. Like, it's totally, you can't even describe. It's like a migraine made of vicodin, man. It's like the aurora borealis, but made of guitars, and you're getting blown by a cherub (made of guitars). Imagine you're overdosing on Xanax inside God's vagina, and there are some guitar sounds related to that. It's like, the original was pure sonic perfection, but this is like, even more perfect? Because there's more presence and most assuredly some additional warmth.

And what can the rest of us expect? Well, the original album consisted of some murmuring, plus lots of guitars and some more guitars. Now, thanks to miraculous new mastering technology, it's louder. According to Kevin Shields himself, the first disc of the reissue is exactly the same as the 1991 release but with the volume turned up; the second disc, freshly mastered from the original analogue tapes, sounds almost exactly like the first disc. Read the interview yourself and try to tell me that's not what he said.

Your copy might also be glitched and mislabeled; that's your just karmic punishment for not trusting record labels, you leftist ninny.

But while the audible differences in the new Loveless may be few, they do exist. I gave the record to the NASA audio team to assist in my expert analysis; they're the ones responsible for listening to cabin recordings from space shuttle disasters and determining which astronauts want to tell their wives they love them and which astronauts just want to scream like pussies. WIth their help (the audio team, not the dead astronauts), I was able to compile the definitive list of notable enhancements and newly-discovered nuances in the year's most talked-about reissue:

  • If you listen closely to the remaster of Only Shallow, the album's opening track, you can hear the precise moment when the four male cats having sex inside the Fender Twin Reverb amp reach their terrible, wailing climax.
  • Those familiar with the album will be shocked to hear newly-audible bass guitar tracks, discrediting the longstanding theory that "Debbie Googe" is a silly name Kevin Shields made up.
  • NASA audio experts are unable to identify precisely what's been changed about the third track, Colm O'Ciosoig's oddball instrumental "Touched," because by popular demand most modern CD players include special firmware that automatically skips it.
  • The audio isn't the only thing that's been improved: on the newly-enhanced album cover, it's now possible to make out that the iconic pink-tinted Jazzmaster guitar is being played with a muffin.

  • Guitar enthusiasts have been in awe of Kevin Shields' distinctive guitar sound since the record's release, and the remaster reveals important new clues about the technique behind it: in some cases, Shields seems to have recorded multiple guitar tracks and laid them over each other with studio wizardry.
  • Increased audio fidelity somehow makes it apparent exactly how to pronounce drummer Colm O'Ciosoig's last name: it's basically "O'Sausage."
  • With the more distinct guitar tone present in the reissues, it becomes clear that "Blown a Wish" is a faithful note-for-note cover of Journey's "Wheel in the Sky."
  • Many listeners have noted a jarring digital glitch present in the remastered "What You Want," which may seem like a significant oversight in a project that's been in the works for four years. However, it's actually an Easter egg for dedicated fans: when slowed down a bit, the glitch is actually over thirty hours of shelved My Bloody Valentine music from Kevin Shields' various abortive attempts at a Loveless follow-up.
  • After hours of analysis, the NASA audio team has been unable to entirely confirm that this album isn't the sound of a space shuttle disaster.
  • Thanks to the overall loudness boost of the new mastering job, playing "Sometimes" at high volumes reveals the repeated brittle snap of Kevin Shields breaking off tremolo arm after tremolo arm and yelling "for the love of god, will somebody please fucking bring me more tremolo arms," followed by the sound of engineer Alan Moulder crunching through piles of fallen tremolo arms like so many autumn leaves and creakily screwing a new tremolo arm onto Kevin's long-suffering Jazzmaster even as he continues to bash out wobbly chords.
  • If you play the new version of "Blown a Wish" backward, you'll find a new subliminal message lurking beneath the surface. The following words are repeated over and over: "TEN OUT OF TEN, BEST NEW REISSUE, HEADLINE COACHELLA, COMING SOON ON BLU-RAY DIGITAL AUDIO."
  • The album's production went excruciatingly over budget, nearly bankrupting Creation records. Audio analysis reveals part of the problem: it seems the woozy sound of "To Here Knows When" was achieved by laboriously shredding dozens and dozens of £100 bills against the guitar strings, and the song's ethereal vocals are label boss Alan McGee quietly sobbing and begging for mercy.
  • It's long been known that the lyrics to "Soon" present an uncannily detailed prediction of the World Trade Center attacks; only now can we decipher the shockingly antisemitic harmonies.
  • On the second disc, mastered from the original half-inch analogue tapes, we can hear for the first time that the record's intricate feedback layers and inimitable swirls of tremolo-gliding guitar were digital mastering errors and My Bloody Valentine was actually a workmanlike third-wave ska band.

If you'd like to pick up a copy of Loveless, you can just head to your local record store, which closed five years ago because you only buy rip-off reissues of "landmark" albums from twenty years ago instead of supporting the vibrant and ongoing music scene, you living-in-the-past tit. If you'd like to comment on this article, you can send an email to [email protected]; be warned that I accept nothing less than total fawning praise.

– Dr. David Thorpe (@Arr)

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