Is it possible to describe psychedelic shoegaze as 'smooth'? Somehow all of the buzzy bursts, tender melodies, ghostly warm tones, and emotive swells flow so effortlessly, it is tempting to declare it perfect. At no point in the album do I feel, "Oh, there should be more this or less that." No, I just feel "Ahhhhhhh..."
This second coming of Doodle has resulted in their first album (the trio began in 2004, and recently reunited following a two year hiatus). I'm so glad they gave it another shot. What we have here is an enchanting, luscious dream. If bears put on music as they settle down to hibernate, they may well choose Sacrifice in Despair. But that's not to suggest it is lacking passion - I can just as easily imagine these sounds setting the mood for seduction deep in the cave.
With the reverb cranked and the effects pedals fully activated, numbers like Limbo and Dirty Fairy evoke A Place To Bury Strangers and My Bloody Valentine. Somewhere down the road from Twin Peaks we hear Lost In Blue, a haunting lullaby. "I don't know where to go," repeats Skyline softly. Neither do I, replies my subconscious as I imagine raindrops pelting the windshield in an attempt to escape the city. But from here to where? I'm feeling this one, I know it well. This is my favorite song of the album, grandly executed.
Chronic Suicide and Something We Forgot are more relatively conventional, even somewhat uptempo songs, offering a bit of a break from the dark clouds and hypnotic repetitions, but not entirely out of place, either. Otherwise, it's back to fuzzy space-outs. Songs like Addiction and Stone-Cold Stars drop some heaviness to give your trance some weight and keep you grounded.
Is this album groundbreaking? No, I'm sure you've heard all of these elements before. But is it good? Oh, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. It's very, very good. Satisfyingly well-crafted & impeccably good. If only Taiwan experienced autumn à la life along the Canadian border... what a great soundtrack this is for wearing old, dirty sweaters and pondering your next move with some hot coffee as the leaves fall on a wet, gray afternoon. But what we get, in Taipei at least, is an endless winter of rain, and I know what's gonna keep me warm this season.