Music » Critics' Picks

The High Violets

Thursday, May 11, at 9 p.m. Three-1-Three (20 Mascoutah Avenue, Belleville, Illinois)

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It's really not surprising that the emergence of grunge sounded the death knell for shoegazing, a genre whose gossamer vocals and delicate melodies were no match for the former's aggressive self-confidence. But Portland neo-shoegazers the High Violets capture the best moments of that late-'80s/early-'90s era (ethereal female vocals, shuddering reverb, candy-coated jangle-chords) without falling prey to lethargy or parody — two things that plagued the genre in its twilight. This year's To Where You Are should please fans of Lush, Slowdive and the Verve, thanks to heavenly pop hooks and urgent arrangements that defy shoegazing's bashful stereotype.

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