My Bloody Valentine
Irish group My Bloody Valentine's countless fans feel about Kevin Shields' guitar chords the way Christians feel about the gospel. Each of the eternally dense chords seems to contain a glimmer of truth. To follow their career from their early Jesus and Mary Chain/noise pop songs to their 1991 masterpiece Loveless is akin to a history lesson in how to transform a guitar chord into a crushing wave of sonic density. Like John Coltrane's later works, MBV tracks are simultaneously oppressive and uplifting -- their elegantly overwhelming orchestrations are so profound that you'll feel transformed by their might. Each track feels absolute, as if nothing could be more intense; listening to their music is to touch the sublime.