By all means, Deardarkhead should be a band that I enjoy. I’m a fan of most of the shoegaze stuff that was happening in the late 80s and early 90s, and I’m a huge fan of the recent releases from Brooklyn, NY based label Captured Tracks, so I should love this recent entry in their shoegaze reissue season. When it comes down to it, Deardarkhead seems like just the sort of band that would have been forgotten by the ages, and this reissue just brings their middling reverby rock songs back to the forefront of the musical consciousness.

When these tracks originally saw release, it's likely that it was a pleasant entry amongst a genre with a clearly defined aesthetic. And pleasant is all it really tries to be. The buzz of tracks like 'Fish' or the chorus-y guitar pop of 'Crystalize' fit well within the boundaries of the genre that bands like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive were playing a large role in defining around the same time. These tracks just never ascend to the majesty of some of releases from bands like those. It’s not that it just tries to be smaller in scope, that much is an acceptable and interesting change - shoegaze on a smaller scale is an interesting idea in concept, it just doesn't live up to the promise of a good idea. It’s not that it's poor songwriting, or a lack of catchy guitar lines, or a blatant ripping off of the bands before - there’s just nothing presented here that wasn’t eclipsed by other bands doing very similar things.

Much in the way that many indie bands in the present will be forgotten by the years, Deardarkhead likely deserved the same. Not every release is begging to be reevaluated 20 years later, some deserve their spot in the record collection, taking up space and collecting dust. It’s valid music, and if it's ever picked up it certainly won’t be an offensive listen, at least in the sense that the music is bad. It’s almost offensively inoffensive, because there’s nothing really going on that wasn’t done better - either earlier or later. It becomes a frustrating listen, if only because at some point I’d rather listen to Ride than to a band that reminda me of Ride. Deardarkhead deserves their place in the music world, but that place isn’t at the forefronts of the hearts and minds of listeners, it's in the back of some closet, underneath 20 years worth of records that you continue to pick up every so often.