You ever think of what shoegaze would be called if shoes didn’t exist? Probably not but nonetheless I laughed when I saw the tag sockgaze for the album Loveland by Stereoflower. Stereoflower is a new solo project/band for Zach Taylor Roth and I’m digging these songs on this EP that had me wanting more.
Between reading that Roth was into My Bloody Valentine and noticing the colors which resembled The Kevin Shields led band I was thinking I was in for a lot of classic shoegaze tropes. I was pleasantly surprised at some of the originality I heard on these songs. The songs are more upbeat than I expected and some of the songs feel more based in standard rock than I anticipated.
The EP opens with a thirty-three-second intro entitled “Loveland.” I’m pretty sure it's just one of his songs backwards. It did nothing for me but didn’t ruin my day either. Roth mentions Wilco as an influence and you can hear that on “Can't Shake It.” The song builds around an acoustic guitar, illuminating warm lead guitar, drums, bass and exceptional vocals. As the song progresses it gets more intense and by the two-minute-mark I was really feeling it. Roth eventually goes all out in a cathartic release as he repeats “Shake it off, shake it off, shake it off, shake it."
I thought “Surrogate Lovers” was the highlight. It has a very classic rock feel and is just damn catchy. The atmospheric synth works great against the hopeful, vibrant vocals. He sings, “It happens in the summer, we're dancing in your covers / Surrogate lovers, I guess we didn't know it / Kisses we were stealing staring at the ceiling / That feeling I was feeling, I wish I could have shown it.”.As with the previous song it gets more intense as it progresses. This time Roth plays an extended guitar solo.
“I Want U 2 Hurt Me” is the most dynamic song going from the initial softness to a vibe that lies somewhere between shoegaze and metal. The song ends with another lead guitar climax thing. Loveland is far from perfect but has its moments. I’d like to hear what else Roth is capable of.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook