Despite its magnificent harmonic blur of guitar noise, the shoegazer genre took its name from the musicians who passively performed it while studying their footwear. Kevin Shields and My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Lush were the godheads of this Nineties British scene. Now that their heyday is nearly a decade past, it's time for a revival. First Shields pops up with solo tracks on the Lost In Translation soundtrack; next the equally inert performers of the experimental music crowd take over the sound.
Though Pole-endorsed compilations and Slowdive cover albums set the trend, German group Pluramon may be the first of the lot to switch its sound to 100 percent shoegaze. To be fair, the trio was always into guitars; it's just that their earlier, pale Tortoise imitations never seemed to go anywhere. They've begun to fix that problem with Dreams Top Rock. Here Pluramon's guitars bristle with pink noise melodies while guest vocalist and former Twin Peaks chanteuse Julee Cruise sings soft, gentle nonsense. When they deviate from the fuzz 'n' coos of their Cruise collaborations into ambient electronic territory, though, they quickly run out of gas. But if you combine the album's best tracks with choice cuts from Lost In Translation you'll get a new shoegazer classic -- only the sneakers have changed.