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Blow

SwallowAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)


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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 1992 $9.49  
Audio CD, 1992 --  
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Audio Cassette, 1992 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 11, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • ASIN: B000005JC0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,236 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Lovesleep
2. Tastes Like Honey
3. Sugar Your Mind
4. Mensurral
5. Peekaboo
6. Lacuna
7. Oceans And Blue Skies
8. Follow Me Down
9. Halo
10. Cherry Stars Collide
11. Head In A Cave

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
(4)
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
God I love this CD. It brings back memories of the golden age of shoegazer in the very early 90's. Back then I was listening to Medicine, My Bloody Valentine, The Drop Nineteens, Slowdive, et al and remember feeling priviledged to bear witness to such a beautiful and creative movement. This is an unknown album which is criminal because it is so good. There are a number of outstanding songs on the CD and no bad ones. Although it is not quite as good as My Bloody Valentine or Medicine, it is a notch below and well worth investing in if you have even the slightest interest in that ramarkable period. I'd compare the style to an upbeat Chapterhouse, or a quiter Medicine. Its very different from bands like Slowdive or Ride in that it is almost dancey but not quite. Listen to it and enjoy it. This is a must buy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Cocteau Twins Lite March 9, 2010
Format:Audio CD
My CD purchases for August of '92 netted me His Name is Alive's re-issued "Livonia", Pale Saints' "In Ribbons", and Swallow's only full-length release. For the next several weeks they seemd to be the only discs I listened to, "Blow" no less than the others.

For some reason, this band gets pegged as a lightweight version of the Cocteau Twins. After hundreds of listens the only firm points for comparison that could be made -at a stretch- are that both groups are (or were) signed to 4AD, both featured a guitar-driven sound anchored in textural and atmospheric exploration, and both contained female vocalists who were comfortable at the higher end of the register. All of this is a bit like saying humans and chimpanzees are just alike because we share 99% of the same DNA.

There are obvious qualitative differences here. Robin Guthrie's such heavily-processed guitar effects lent an extremely distinctive sound to the musical palette of the Cocteau Twins; and coupled with the seven-octave range and penchant for glossolalic lyrics possessed by Liz Frazer put an instantly recognizable stamp on their material. Mike Mason and Louise Trehy approach the creation of their own ethereal soundscapes from a different direction. Mason's guitar work, while employing its own set of effects, remains more organic. Sure, there's some reverb, but it's never taken to such extensive lengths that it's merely mimicking Guthrie's trademark sound. The tones emeriging from Mason's guitar, while never power chords, are much heavier and have real depth and expansive quality; and while atmospheric they don't sound as if they were processed through every effects pedal he owned (and this is not meant to be a slur against Guthrie, one of my favorite guitar players).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Swallow, the partnership of guitarist Mike Mason and vocalist Louise Trehy, released only a couple of albums in the early 1990s and is often sadly misremembered as a Cocteau Twins knockoff. Of course, comparisons to that famous Scottish act can be drawn, for Swallow's music is lush, hardly intelligible vocals submerged in sweeping guitar lines and drum machines, and even the band playfully nicknamed themselves the "Cockatoo Twins". Perhaps the most impressive debt to the Cocteau Twins is that Trehy and Mason were among the first to realize the subtle sexuality of Cocteau Twins' lyrics ("Pearly Dewdrop's Drops" indeed) and so on their debut BLOW Swallow gives us eleven tracks of suggestive titles and coy vocals.

But Swallow is a fine act in their own right, and the more I've listened to BLOW over the years, the more they stand out in the early 1990s pop scene. Mason's guitar playing is considerable more rough-edged than most shoegazing acts, with a few songs like "Follow Me Down" built over mechanistic lines. Trehy's vocals are not slow and shadowy like some other 4AD acts of the time, but playful like a kitten. The atmospheres are often luminous, though the joyful mood of most of the album is unexpectedly confronted by the threatening tones of "Cherry Stars Collide" and "Head in a Cave".

This is an addictive album and one well worth picking up for anyone who likes shoegazing or dream pop, i.e. Lush, Pale Saints, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine and even (very early) His Name Is Alive.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lost shoegaze classic from 4AD Records. September 22, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This group consists of Mike Mason and Louise Trehy and their sound can be compared to the Cocteau Twins (both band use a drum machine) and other 4AD artist such as His Name Is Alive, Lush, Mojave 3, and The Pale Saints with a little 90s shoegaze flavor (Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine comes to mind). There are some real gems on this album, especially Taste Like Honey, Sugar Your Mind, Peekaboo, Oceans & Blue Skies, and Follow Me Down (my personal favorite). Another great track is Cherry Stars Collide which is feature in the 1996 film Joyride which stars Tobey Maguire, Amy Hathaway, Wilson Cruz, Benicio Del Toro and Adam West and is a pretty entertaining movie if not that great movie.

I first heard of this group on a 4AD compilation called Lilliput, back when 4AD use to make these great compilation CDs. The songs on it were Tastes Like Honey and Follow Me Down (Instrumental Version). One I heard the group I was hooked and bought the whole album on both CD and vinyl. This album does not get the credit it deserves and is a lost treasure in the 4AD Record catalog which is a shame. The moment I heard it I was hooked and often would walk through the desert late at night and listen to this record. It is great music for those who love dreamy vocals, guitars with feedback and reverb, and a techno fell to their music. It is still one of my favorite records for this genre.
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