Faded Seaside Glamour
By: Eric Greenwood
One of Rough Trade's recent signings, Delays, harkens back to that brief period in the early '90's when fuzzed-out guitars married Byrds-esque harmonies. Shoegazer rock: Bands that stood still and stared at the floor while they played incredibly loud, feedback-drenched rock with varying degrees of melodic intensity. It's a silly name, but, like most modern rock epithets, it's stuck in the public's consciousness. Ride, Lush, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Chapterhouse, even The Jesus and Marychain to an extent, all fall under that unfortunate shortcut to thinking. Thankfully, the music is typically much better than the name implies.
Delays is nostalgic for such a specific strand of the shoegazer movement it almost seems stuck in some anachronistic time warp. Greg Gilbert's voice ranges from a girlish falsetto to a cheesy faux rock rasp. His chirping voice is such a spectacle at times, you won't know whether to laugh or punch a hole in the wall. The best song by far is the single, "Nearer Than Heaven", wherein the band sounds a tad too much like The La's, but its utterly infectious all the same. Foppish haircuts, gauzy '60's harmonies, shimmering guitars…you know the drill. It's a mite too gentle for my blood. Actually, it annoys the piss out of me after about five minutes, but if you can stomach that guy's hiccupping lilt, you may lose your Sunday soaked in reverb.