may have been its strongest reincarnation. That doesn't necessarily mean that fans of
will find the band to their liking, however.
much prefered the dark side of psychedelia, as exemplified by the most distended tracks of
. Their fuzzy guitar workouts and plaintive folky compositions are often suffused in a dissociative ennui that is very much of the 1990s, however much their textures may recall the drug-induced states of vintage psychedelia.
Although Mazzy Star
was nominally a full band, they were basically the core duo of guitarist David Roback
and singer Hope Sandoval
with backing musicians. Roback
boasts a long history in the paisley underground, with the Rain Parade
. He came across Sandoval
after hearing a tape she had made as part of a folky duo, Going Home. (The Going Home album that Roback
subsequently produced remains unissued.) Sandoval
ended up replacing Kendra Smith
's final tours. After Opal
continued to work together as Mazzy Star
, and released their first album for Rough Trade, She Hangs Brightly
, in 1990.
Rough Trade's U.S. branch went under shortly afterwards, but luckily Mazzy Star
were picked up by Capitol, who kept the debut in print and issued their follow-up, 1993's So Tonight That I Might See
. There isn't much to differentiate the two albums, though that's not necessarily a criticism. Both share similar strengths and weaknesses: appealingly dreamy and atmospheric arrangements, rambling distorted guitar workouts, and lyrics that mix the haunting and the meaninglessly vague. Tonight That I Might See
had been around for about a year before it suddenly got hot, reaching the Top 40, and spinning off a small hit single, "Fade Into You." Even in the wake of this surprise success, Roback
remained as enigmatic and aloof as their music, rarely submitting to interviews, and offering mysterious, unhelpful replies when journalists did manage to talk with them.