Sharp haze

I am more than a year behind on this one. Just so we're clear. But I'm more bummed about missing out than being late.

The Stargazer Lilies
We Are the Dreamers

As the band name might well indicate, this is prime shoegazer territory--with a MBV chaser, just for fun. Waves of distortion and gauzy vocals battle ennui, and tarnished glory wins out in the end.

Kim Field does her best to out-etherealize John Cep's aural anguish. I can hear some of you muttering right now, and I understand. When I was a pup, I had louder and faster things to chase. That's cool. What's more, a lot of folks make noise without purpose. The Stargazer Lilies know exactly what they're going for, and they make sure to leave plenty of clues in the mist. The ideas within the fog are quite beautiful. Kinda like looking at a Rodin through billows of smoke.

And yes, I'll give a nod to those who say "MBV did this better!" This is obviously and incontrovertibly true. But even MBV can't out-MBV these days, and there's no good reason to turn your back on an appealing sound just because perfection might well have been achieved a couple of decades ago. After all, there have been a few pop bands since the Beatles.

The best part of this album are the rough edges. That's where Cep gets everything right. Razor blades haunt the night here, and that's why I keep coming back.

Jon Worley

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