Album #71: Galaxie 500 – Today

  • Released: 1988
  • Origin: Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  • Label: Aurora
  • Best Track: Temperature’s Rising

I don’t know a lot about Galaxie 500. Being a big fan of the likes of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, the name crops up a fair bit on some of the shoegaze/dream pop Facebook groups I’m in, so I have an inkling as to what they sound like.

I thought I’d give them a go and start with their 1988 debut. Their sound isn’t quite what I expected – yes, the shoegaze elements are there, but they could also easily be bracketed in with the alt-rock of their Massachusetts contemporaries Dinosaur Jr., while also carrying some of the lo-fi aesthetics of Guided By Voices and, having done a little more reading up, influencing future slowcore bands like Low.

This is a pleasant surprise for me though, as the niche shoegaze genre can get a bit samey, and Today was/is a very decent debut. Dean Wareham’s vocals are a little nasal and childlike, but I actually like their rawness, especially on ‘Temperature’s Rising’.

Generally speaking, the songs are pretty simple, but they work well, with ‘Tugboat’ and ‘Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste’ among the other highlights. I enjoyed this record a lot, and learned that Galaxie 500 were more than just a band peripheral to the shoegaze scene.

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