In before the deadline?
I casually got into shoegaze in the mid to late aughts (like Asobi Seksu), but haven't listened much lately. This reminds me of a lot of the better stuff. I like it about as much as I like the genre which is a moderate amount. Good example of the style with some solid melodies, drumming, textures, etc. throughout. 6/10
Girls in Synthesis, “We Might Not Make Tomorrow”
Is a Killing Joke comparison apt? Another genre I like, don't love, but this is well done. An energetic performance will get you far in my book. 6/10
Sufjan Stevens, “Tonya Harding”:
Good observation about the folk tradition. I do like the drum machine and keyboards as a different approach. Sufjan is another person I've heard a ton about forever, but never really dove in. This is good, but the subject matter isn't super engaging to me. 6/10
Future Silence, “Aliens”
I probably like this the best of the bunch. Fuzz bass, strong hooks, and a few odd chords thrown in for good measure. 7/10
Godspeed You! Black Emperor, “Mladic”
I remember getting into Explosions in the Sky back in college to impress a girl and the hipsters at my college radio station kinda brushed them off as a lesser Godspeed. So another band I've heard about forever, but never really dove into. This is NOT like Explosions. Another one I like, but haven't spent enough time before the deadline to fully analyze. It's not particularly dynamic once the main part kicks in, everything is pretty much F/FF, but that's okay. The music does ebb/flow/swell throughout. Not something I'm going to seek out with any level of regularity, but I like it. 6/10.
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.