For some, Slowdive will always encapsulate all that is wrong about the so-called shoegazing movement. The disaffected vocals, bowl-headed haircuts, the over-reliance on FX pedals and their vague lyrics were all at odds with the music media's then obsession with grunge and Britpop. Certainly, Slowdive weren't to everyone's taste but in a relatively short time they produced three largely excellent albums; each of which featured a signficant development in their sound and now well-respected as essential references in the dreampop movement. As if to prove that Slowdive were always more concerned with melody than they were given credit for, founder members Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell now ply their trade in the spare, more countrified work of Mojave 3
Their debut album 'Just For A Day' has - on the whole - aged surprisingly well and is a more focused effort than one could reasonably expect from the band members who were still in their early twenties at the time. Granted, the vocals tend towards the effete but there were already signs of the tougher, more robust effects which would be perfect by their second album. Evidence of this is plain to see on the sinister finale 'Primal' and three minutes in to 'Catch The Breeze' as the floating melody is cruelly overtaken by a heavier, darker surge of guitar. In contrast, at this stage of their career, Slowdive were more comfortable with glacial soundscapes of which 'Celia's Dream', the mournful 'Ballad Of Sister Sue' and the gorgeous instrumental 'Erik's Song' stand out the most.
This reissue also includes a generous bonus disc including the early EPs and session tracks. Of these, 'Avalyn' (Parts One and Two) begins to build their "wall of sound" effect but there's not enough shifts in tempo to make it more than mildly interesting. 'She Calls', however, finds an escape from moodiness into melodrama and 'Albatross' is shrouded in appealing mystery.