- by Sean Hewson Rating:7 Release Date:2016-02-27 Label: Club AC30
Grandfeathered starts with a single note that lasts 25 seconds. It's the longest that Pinkshinyultrablast will stick with anything over the course of this album. Ideas are picked up and discarded constantly, but not every one is a good one. To quote Nick Cave, 'Prolix! Prolix! Nothing a pair of scissors can't fix!'
After its one note beginning, opening track Initial moves through dance drums, fuzz bass, African guitar and nonsensical vocals until a song finally breaks out after almost two minutes. Glow Vastly is a bit more focussed and works better. The walls of guitar noise that Pinkshinyultrablast construct thoughout Grandfeathered are wonderful. They always combine them with clean sounds and little melodies so it never turns to sludge. The next track is called I Catch You Napping but there is no chance of sleep with the incessantly chattering guitars and the kind of confusing time signature that nags at you and makes you count quietly to yourself, like OCD. Suddenly a frantic Modern Love rhythm breaks out and the main core of the song reveals itself. It's brilliant but it doesn't quite know when to finish. Kiddy Pool Dreams starts out with some metal riffs but it's the vocals that grab the attention. The vocal melodies here and throughout the album sound slightly odd, possibly because they're not just wandering up and down the pentatonic scale. It is to be commended that Pinkshinyultrablast have refused to settle for anything as predictable as that. Comet Marbles again combines sheets of noise with clear sounds.They could do an album of this and it would never get boring. The Cherry Pit has more of these surges of noise interspersed with a kind of African/Talking Heads groove. Again, you admire their sense of adventure but, for me at least, it doesn't quite work. I'm just waiting for the blasts of noise and melody. Molkky however is excellent - difficult, noise-pop which comes on in rushes. Underneath it all the bass, keyboards and drums are being just a little weird and tricky. Grandfeathered, the final track, has bubbly bass and a tune that reminds me of Something 4 The Weekend by the Super Furry Animals. It stops after three and a half minutes and becomes something else entirely.
After what seems like a rollercoaster ride I don't quite know what to make of Grandfeathered. Sometimes it's exhilarating, sometimes it's excellent, but sometimes it's excessive and exhausting and I can't work out why they're still playing. There are some things that Pinkshinyultrablast do very well, there's nothing that they do badly, but there is quite a lot that I simply don't need.
Nice review. It's is a bit weird and off-kilter, but it's one of my favorite releases so far this year. I like the experimentation. And while the Cocteau Twins similarities are pretty clear, it also reminds me a lot of Lush.
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