Music Geek #3: Shoegaze, Famicom-style — The Depreciation Guild offers synthesizers with lush guitar work

Matthew Montgomery wears funny glasses in a Cedar City, Utah park.In the time since the writing and subsequent posting of my previous column, in which I probed for quality shoegaze, I have been offered a small variety of options by which I might discover more of this music I’ve found myself so enamored with.

First, I must offer my appreciation to those who answered my call; the suggestions have been greatly appreciated, and I’m putting effort into exploring these artists more.

In my own search, I’ve found some interesting things. The first is a group I discovered not terribly long after admitting to the internet that I was — and still am — on the clueless side of things as far as proper shoegaze is concerned. The group, The Depreciation Guild, is composed of two musicians and a certain device entertainment-happy children in the mid-1980s and, indeed, most anyone who’s spent time in the confines of American popular culture: the Famicom, or, as it’s more popularly known in the United States, the Nintendo Entertainment System.

The Depreciation Guild – “Butterfly Kisses”

The band, who attest to utilizing guitars, toys, and chiptune musical programming, top their music with the usual ethereal shoegaze vocals; set against melodies that sound more like they’re from Contra or 1942 than Loveless or Spooky, this band creates music that, without a doubt, occupies a unique space in the sonic spectrum.

What’s more, though, is that it’s good. Their debut album, In Her Gentle Jaws, is exciting in a way that shoegaze often fails to be: From harried electronic drum beats to stabs of square waves, The Depreciation Guild brings a unique purview to the table, and they do it with great success.

The Depreciation Guild – “Water Window”

After a time, the novelty, of course, wears off, and one is left simply listening to the music — and you know what? It’s still good. If the world of shoegaze is broad enough to fit The Depreciation Guild, it’s certainly worthy of exploration.

Tracks used without permission of The Depreciation Guild, who offer the album for free download on their Web site. Permission is currently being sought by Matthew Montgomery is the editor in chief of

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