Who’s making the freshest sounds in the shoegaze and dream pop genres? Well, you’ll get a debate about that. But a case can be made that the return of Brad Laner, vocalist Beth Thompson and drummer John Goodall can be easily considered in that discussion.
While not always beloved of their era (competing, as they were, with British stalwarts My Bloody Valentine, Pale Saints and Ride), Medicine earned respect for their inventive and groundbreaking sound. The dissonance and feedback poured over catchy, almost bubblegum hooks made for a lasting, tasty confection.
The reunion of the classic Medicine lineup could be expected to provide a somewhat watered-down version of the classic sound. Medicine (and Brad Laner) seem to take great pride in confounding those expectations. Cross the classic Medicine sonic assault and ear for melody with some of the more fanciful flights of, say, Airiel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, or Candy Claws at their best, maybe a pinch of psychedelic Beatles and you’ll get the idea.
Brad Laner provides just enough hooks to draw you in, with enough layers and angles to keep you listening for weeks and months to come. Never one to take the easy route, Medicine’s reunion makes you work for it. The good (or great) news is that it’s truly worth the effort. Amidst the shimmering guitars and sweet harmonies, there’s real brilliance at work here.