Aether resurrect the shoegazer sound with rocking results

January 30, 2008 at 8:43 am (Shoegazer)


Derek’s New Music Bin

Artist: Aether

Album: Aethersound

Rating: 9/10

Official Website:

Written by Derek Jensen

One word name, murky album cover, dreamlike riffs. There’s no doubt it: Aether have a yen for the shoegazer movement that rattled the U.K. underground the same time that grunge was pushing through college radio stateside. For those who weren’t born yet or too young at the time (late ’80s-early ’90s), the shoegazer bands basically took the ethereal guitars of the Cocteau Twins, cranked up the volume a few notches so you have a wall of sound, and frosted mostly incomprehensible and sometimes whispered vocals on top. It ended up being too weird for the mainstream; however, groups such as My Bloody Valentine helped inspire the alternative rock to follow, namely bands like the Smashing Pumpkins and Catherine Wheel.

Aether are nowhere near as commercial as the Smashing Pumpkins, preferring to stick to their uncompromising independent roots, at least on this CD. “Milk” has that My Bloody Valentine-styled disoriented groove while “Hours” aims for the transcendent space rock of Radiohead. Unlike many of the shoegazer acts that inspired them, though, Aether aren’t afraid to bring on the noise as “As We Leave the City” and “New Sound” rattle the cages with breathless abandon. It’s all pretty and rocking at the same time.


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