Nowhere constantly makes it into any Top Shoegaze Albums list, and with good reason. In what is arguably a very limited genre wherein bands have no choice but to copy each other, Nowhere’s just a solid album that set the standard for a few of its peers, namely Chapterhouse. It’s a powerful, hook filled record that admitedly has not aged extremely well, but perhaps that’s best. By now it’s a relic of a beloved sound - it doesn’t matter if it’s not the most technically awe-inspiring shoegaze album. We already have Loveless for that.
Nowhere is gripping from the very beginning. Opener “Seagull” is so powerful it’s transcendent, so much so that no other song on the album comes close to its power. I don’t mean that other songs are not powerful, but that no song is as frantic, as thundering, or as smothering. Most of the songs that follow have emotional power, granted by pop-worthy deliveries and rhythms. The highlights are: “In A Different Place,” “Polar Bear,” “Vapour Trail,” and “Taste” - essentially the longer the track the better you can expect it to be. If there’s any criticism I can think of it’s directed at the album’s relative forgettability. If you aren’t already a shoegaze fan, or if you aren’t paying attention to it as you listen, then its sound, its subtle vocal delivery, will melt and blend into itself and shy away into the background. After “Seagull,” there isn’t a song that really pushes itself. This grants Nowhere the title of a shoegaze lover’s album, traded for its ability to be a newbie’s first beloved album.
But who are we kidding? Everyone who listens to Nowhere is already a shoegaze fan.