Airiel The Battle Of Sealand

Chicago’s Airiel join the long list of bands so enamoured with the shoegazing scene of the 1990s that they want to bring it back. Their series of EPs, entitled Winks & Kisses, hinted at what lay ahead but didn’t fully indicate the scope of just what Airiel were planning. At times, it seems like Airiel are being a little too clever by creating almost perfect emulations of their influences — there are songs that could quite comfortably be found on releases by My Bloody Valentine, Chapterhouse and Ride. And while there is something reassuring and wonderfully nostalgic about hearing music like this again, it does feel more like a history lesson than a new album. It also suffers from the same excesses as many albums of that period, namely tracks that don’t know when to end and overblown arrangements that have a tendency to smother the song underneath. Nevertheless, The Battle Of Sealand is a remarkably satisfying album for anyone that likes this kind of thing. (Highwheel)