"The connective thread with all these sensations is the relinquishing of control, the scary bliss of losing orientation and agency.
"I don't think it's too much of a reach to imagine that this had some kind of semi-conscious resonance for a generation that felt powerless. It's quite hard to reconstruct how bleak things seemed in the late '80s and early '90s; in both Britain and America, conservative governments were in third-term ascendance, and mainstream popular culture from hair metal to Hollywood seemed be in sync with the rightward shift. For many—not all, but many—this encouraged resignation, a withdrawal verging on hibernation. That's why American nu-punks L7 wrote their anti-slacker anthem 'Pretend We’re Dead' as a wake-up call from apathy. That's why Welsh nu-punks Manic Street Preachers declared that they hated Slowdive more than Hitler—for being so dreamily disengaged, advocates for reverie rather than revolution."
Simon Reynolds at Pitchfork reviews the new CD box Still in a Dream: A Story of Shoegaze 1988-1995.