Now that shoegaze heavyweights My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus & Mary Chain have both decided to reunite Serena Maneesh’s modern update of the shoegazing aesthetic surely puts them in the perfect position to seize the limelight. Which is why the delay of their mooted collection of early E.P’s comes as something of a surprise. A band statement had this to say:
‘(((((AND HEY THERE HAS BEEN SOME MISLEADING ANNOUNCEMENTS REGARDING THE RE- INTRODUCTION OF OUR FÌRST TWO EPs, ‘FIXXATIONS’ AND ‘ZURÜCK’. THESE WILL BE RELEASED AS A DOUBLE DIGIPACK NICE COLLECTION WITH ORIGINAL MIXES, NEW RE- WRAPPINGS/ MIXES, VIDEOS AND MUCH MORE. THERE WILL BE VINYL AS WELL. WITH BONUS TRACK! AHH! JUST GOT BEAUTIFUL NEW ROCK n ROLL ARTWORK FROM LEGENDARY KIM HIORTHØY.
((((((AND A 12 INCH RECORD WITH A MEDICINE (BRAD LANER) VS. SM RMX THING AS WELL AS ONE WITH GLEN GALAXY (TRUMAN’ S WATER/ SOUL-JUNK).. ACCOMPANIED BY SOME OTHER GOOD B-SIDE STUFF. LIMITED RUN VINYL ONLY.
ALL THIS ON SMALLTOWN SUPERSOUND AS ANNOUNCED BEFORE. OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE SEPT 1ST 2008.’
…so there you go then.
Meanwhile S-M lynchpin Emil Nokolaisen is keeping himself busy by curating an exciting sounding mini-festival in the tiny Norwegian town of Moi. The event, Kamerad & Spelemann, takes place on the 23rd of August and brings together a diverse evening of great music including Madrugada bassist Frode Jacobsen, Elvira Nikolaisen, a version of Serena Maneesh, Steve Stevens and the Happy Hippos, and, most excitingly, the one and only Sufjan Stevens (who made a low-key guest contribution to Serena Maneesh’s self-titled debut).
Serena Maneesh’s first full-length was a bracing experience. Nikolaisen stated of the band’s sound that ‘I’ve always loved tension… Opposites’ battle each other. Within harmony in melody and chord, between the sexes, the dry and the liquid, the dynamics, at obvious or subtle levels. I love the constant danger of things falling apart.’ This is a danger which the band, at least on the two occasions I have seen them, tend to succumb to live, but on record this tension drives the music and, if anything, serves to highlight the melodies and repeated riffs which hold the songs together. The opening track on Serena Maneesh, ‘Drain Cosmetics’, is easily the most instant and catchy on the record, it was even named The Guardian‘s single of the week, but it is also a thumping, scuzzy, hypnotic gem: