The Quality of Mercury – Transmission
Shoegaze, rock, dream pop, ambient:
One day, when man is traveling the stars, no one will be arguing about bathrooms, GMO crops, parenting, and the next dieting craze living on frozen peas and saltines or recycled animal waste. This is because the earth will become a festering wasteland of disease ridden mindless zombies who constantly vote red or blue for the next world dictator. The real life will be out in the vast universe, shooting through nebula and light years of darkness. On our locomotive space stations with artificial gravity and hydroponic ecosystems we will follow the path of the comets, jumping through eons of time without being on facebook. Maybe we will still listen to good music.
Maybe, on our way to Andromeda, we will be listening to The Quality of Mercury’s Transmission, but instead of “drifting in space,” we will be enjoying live shows and sharing positive ideas to the backdrop of thick, distorted, and reverberated guitars, bouncing back and forth against wall of sound ping pong vocals and warm synth and solid back-beat drums. Maybe the bass player will plug on the kick, maybe the lyrics will be about traveling, loving, maturing into vastness.
“Faster and faster” we will “travel,” though in the interstellar age, surely we have sciences to further. How will we “Breathe in Stereo?” Clearly by pulling guitar parts straight out of early 90’s shoegaze and combining it with chugging power-pop chords which works through a miracle.
What about “The Orion Ascension?” Some sort of dark, black-gaze with heavy metal writing slowed down and played at the bottom of a parking garage.
The Quality of Mercury nails all of your concerns. This “Space Rock” is a much more than an attempt at combining the aggressive nature of rock with the enveloping annihilation that is shoegaze. The digital and analog sounds mix perfectly. Not one point in the album does it feel metallic or fuzzy or even the aforementioned aggressive. The direction of the writing is fluid and natural with no ceiling. The vinyl is blue and does not ship until September, but I ordered it anyway.
I love shoegaze. I never review it here because I am a very sensitive man. I fear “real” shoegazers. They might say things like “real shoegaze died with Spaceman 3,” or “You’re going to see Blonde Redhead/Lush? That’s really cute. I bet you like Ringo Deathstarr and wish you could marry Anthony Gonzalez,” and “You bought The Quality of Mercury’s Transmission in limited edition 300 run 180g Blue vinyl after listening to it once for free on soundcloud? I bet you also buy reissues of albums from the 90’s that you were too young to even know about when they came out.”
I have never met someone like that. Most shoegazers I have met feel like they can not share in their love of music outside of the internet community because people will think they do drugs or are just generally unreliable workers. Why do I think that? Recording drums to sound natural and unobtrusive behind electric guitars that borderline on a sine wave is a wonder of modern sound. Putting lyrics about space and love to a wash of sound without sounding cliche and mundane is surprisingly difficult. Do not misunderstand, I love cliches. I have a notebook that I am trying to fill with them.
If life as we know will continue after earth, perhaps civilization does stand a fighting chance out past the Oort cloud. New music continues to surprise. Even when one looses hope and purpose in a sick haze, waking between moments of flightless dreams only to choke down cough syrup and decongestant for weeks, the dance of mankind pushes solidly against oppression and stamps hardship and sadness mercilessly into the green and growing earth. Certainly, the earth will still be around long after that dance is over and a new one begins.