Should you be totally oblivious to the past work of Parisians Venera 4, a band who, despite 'Eidôlon' (even with my best internet searching, I can't give you a meaning for that word!) being their debut album, have a decent back-catalogue consisting of EPs and such, then the fact that they open with a track called 'Pygmalion' may just act as a pointer. 'Pygmalion' was a seminal shoegaze album by the recently revived Slowdive, and it's lightly distorted guitars and breathy female vocals reminscent of that band that the quartet use to drive much of this record.
That opening track may be slightly more upbeat, but when they hit 'Red Blooms' you notice just how in tune with that era they can be at times; it's songs such as this that caused the term "ethereal" to become such a cliche, but there's nothing bad about the blisful jangle they create. Also harking back 20-odd years is the delicate, dreamy wall of noise that is '3 Studies For A Portrait', or the poundind boy/girl sung 'Coloured Fields' - an album highlight that makes it tough not to think of The Jesus & Mary Chain's 'Sometimes Always'. Regular readers much be more up to speed with the album's first single 'Black Paws', and it's here that the guitars are made to contort and groan, all to a relaxed and blissful melody.
The title-track, whatever it may mean, sees them switching to their native tongue and also bringing in a more electronic aspect to the beat; it teeters on the brink of being krautrock and is just as lovely as the other 10 tracks, if not more so. Venera 4 don't really do filler. Talking of krautrock, 'Aimer Ann' takes from that genre and merges it with a sound more repesentitive of the band as a whole. If you prefer your tunes with a bit more of an abrasive edge then 'Orange' might be up your street, but it's on 'Some Girls' that even greater rewards are to be found in that respect; it's almost as though Crocodiles have recruited a guest vocalist. It could be argued that the best is saved for last though, as the mini-epic 'Metal Shells' pulls all the plus points Venera 4 have together and adds a Cocteau Twins twist. It doesn't end there for fans of non-physical formats though, as digiatl bonus track 'Childish Scrawl' even manages to drag in a little post-punk.
The touchstones Venera 4 use for 'Eidôlon' might not be the rarest or most challenging, but they're chosen perfectly and carried out with aplomb.