Medicine: Shot Forth Self Living (1992)

Well, if we're gonna be on a shoegaze kick (see House of Love from a couple days back), let's go all in.  And, yeah, it's easy to knock this as a bit too flagrantly derived from My Bloody Valentine's Loveless.  To be sure, the benchmarks are there.  Walls of distortion and feedback.  Disorienting studio trickery.  Hauntingly sweet female vocals as a counterpoint to the noise.

None of which changes the fact that Medicine were (are) great, taking a distinctly British genre and giving it an L.A. spin, a bit of Paisley Underground psychedelic pop shining through  (see, e.g., the relatively clean and poppy "Defective," like a Bangles song shot through with bolts of fucked up electricity).

The band's debut didn't exactly seem designed for easy entry. It opens with an extended track featuring walls of droning feedback; and the second track, "Aruca," deceptively opens with unpleasant noises -- but then bleeds into a nice groove that sounds like a sequel to Loveless, followed by the afore-referenced "Defective," the album's closest thing to pure pop.  "5ive" is more Paisley-styled psychedelia, nearly approaching high levels of catchiness but held at bay by the disorienting trippiness; "Sweet Explosion" and "Miss Drugstore" fall somewhere between MbV's blistering sonics and Lush's more infectious brand of shoegaze.

It may not be an ideal album to convert a non-believer to the genre -- later works probably did a better job of slipping earwiggy hooks into the blast-fire mix and are more approachable -- but if you like your jangles buried beneath sheets of feedbacky sludge while somehow remaining sweetly engaging, it's worth checking out.  (But definitely look for the recent deluxe edition, which appends a few solid singles and a disc of demos and alternate mixes.)

Here's the video for "Aruca," noisy opening and all:
...and the video for "5ive":