10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Excellent second album.,
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This review is from: Souvlaki (Audio CD)
Slowdive became a much more interesting band in the period between debut album Just for a Day (1991) & this 1993 release. It did get some decent reviews then, but does feel overlooked- which might be due to the music press passing over the "shoegazing" bands they feted in 1990/1991 and focusing on "Grunge"- which was in turn exchanged for tokenist dance music coverage and the horror that was "Britpop".
This collection showed that Slowdive main-man Neil Halstead was advancing as a songwriter- their earlier material might have relied too much on chimes & drones. Here She Comes & Alison (about a charming girl who used to work for a record chain in the Maidenhead/Reading region?)show advances in songwriting that would lead towards the song-orientated secret that is Mojave 3. Not that the soundscapes have been abandoned- Melon Yellow fuses a great Syd Barrett/Robert Wyatt style song with acoustic guitars & dubby basslines. Whether this was the influence of too much smoking, On-U-Sound dub albums or The Orb I don't know- the title track Souvlaki Space Station (too much watching Solaris maybe?) has a sound like Lee 'Scratch' Perry meeting...well, Slowdive.
Souvlaki remains a highlight of imaginative guitar-orientated music, though it has more in common with the ambient sounds of the era (such as The Aphex Twin- who would remix their 5 ep the following year). Hopefully this will get re-released at some point in the future, perhaps in a manner as attentive as the Ride reissues of 2001. I think it's a lost classic, but any album that blends Eno's ambient works, MBV inspired guitar sounds & dub-basslines equal to those on PIL's Metal Box must be worthy of investigation by the open minded...