93 Million Miles From the Sun has just given me my most mind-bending aural experience of the year so far. We’ve reviewed a lot of shoegaze albums through the past year here at Buzzyband and I’d dare say Why Do We Fall Apart is one of the more epic and unique sounding out there. If there’s an experience that we’d highly recommend it’s the lush and grandiose explorations that this band offers.
This is the eighth full-album release for founder Nick Noble, who due to the pandemic, decided to record and mix all of its sounds and instruments by himself. With a runtime of more than an hour, this dense and rich album places us into guitar nirvana and its shoegaze angels, in awe and at the mercy of its sole creator.
The album starts with the sweeping waves of “Hold My Breath”. The guitars are steady and patient, washing through layers of streams underneath a bed of drum and bass. Noble’s vocals soar through the chorus like a surfer, adding more complex motions to the wall of oceanic bliss. “Everything Undone” has a darker tinge to it, more like a punk or grunge song suspended in space and stretched out to eternity. A trippy experience that’s only a fraction of the unique tricks and surprises in this album.
“The View From Woodhead” is another notable one, the movement of synths along with the drums suggest a 80’s new wave blueprint, but things aren’t as simple when you’re 93MillionMilesFromTheSun. The vocals add a gothic tinge to it, while the wash of effects and layers make it seem like it’s set in a height that’s far out of reach.
It may seem like I’m reaching with these abstractions, but this is really an album that you must experience in order to grasp it. The expansiveness of shoegaze lends itself to explorations that veer far away from popular conventions and it’s definitely the direction I point people to when they feel that rock seems ‘boring’. Other highlights in here include “If You Wonder”, which is dreamy and remorseful – with the instruments easily matching the melancholy of Nick Noble’s vocals. The closing track “Everything Goes Wrong in The End” is also a great one, with heavy guitars and punchy drums (think Hum). Here Noble vents out all the frustrations with an intent that sounds more personal.
This is a record that was painstakingly crafted while the world falls into chaos in 2020. Why Do We Fall Apart is an hour-long reflection of our world through the lens of the most complex guitar sounds out there. What’s not to like?