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Isn't Anything
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Kevin Shields, Bilinda Butcher (vocals, guitar); Deb Googe (bass); Colm O'Ciosoig (drums).
  • Engineers: D. Anderson, S. Nunn, A. Russell.
  • From its very first moments, My Bloody Valentine's ISN'T ANYTHING announces a musical revolution--the rough, insistent snare hits are joined by scalar bass runs, finally uniting and pausing to give way to a barely recognizable guitar swirl and up-close, unproduced vocals as a new form is born. The album's inimitable sonic collages sought to marry the brash experimentation and punk ethic of Sonic Youth with more pop-oriented production values and songcraft. Mastermind Kevin Shields's somewhat more streamlined European update on the noise-rock ethic may carry an intimidating sonic swagger, but beneath there beats the heart of a musical unit firmly grounded in pop.
  • The open-ended sonic stir and dreamy vocal of "Lose My Breath" create a swirling atmosphere, held aloft by a single, plodding acoustic guitar. This kaleidoscopic intensity reaches its apex in the stirring drama of "No More Sorry," a tightly-wound tune that pitches like a ship in a storm, battered by waves of harsh, unforgiving guitar textures. The brash, pounding punk ideal is embraced most obviously on "(When You Awake) You're Still In A Dream" and "Feed Me With Your Kiss."
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (7/9/93, p.50) - "...They nearly bury their somber melodies beneath surface noise. But unearthing the tunes is part of the listening pleasure..." - Rating: A-

Q (7/01, p.88) - Included in Q's "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time" - "...Staggeringly dense....Unveiling the softest extremely loud music ever....Even the barely intelligible lyrics contained hidden traumas..."

Alternative Press (7/95, p.88) - Ranked #46 in AP's list of the `Top 99 Of '85-'95' - "...ISN'T ANYTHING is the most important rock album of the '80s, barely nudging out PSYCHOCANDY....Guitarists Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher introduced a new aesthetic, creating unbearably sensual, alien environments through furious tremolo-bar wrenching and outrageous distortion..."

Q (Magazine) (p.148) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his is a record that heads straight for the inner ear, skewing, disorientating, toppling off balance. There are wonderful songs lurking here..."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.118) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Today, it's still striking for its consistently dark, erotic tone, alternately woozy or aggressively ravenous..."

Uncut (magazine) (p.91) - "'Lose My Breath' and 'No More Sorry' are smoldering beauties, highlighting Butcher's extinguished-torch vocals..."
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