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ALBUM REVIEW: Pinkshinyultrablast – Everything Else Matters

Pinkshinyultrablast

Pinkshinyultrablast’s debut album, Everything Else Matters, is the St Petersburg shoegaze quintet’s first release since the 2009 EP, Happy Songs For Happy Zombies. The new album is an evolution in terms of both sound, and songwriting. Leaving behind some of the more predictable writing found on their first release, Everything Else Matters explores new sonic territory.

The opening track, Wish We Were, fades in with dreamy textures and drifting, delayed vocals. The track builds by constantly adding layers, from a classic sounding 808 drum machine to shifting synths, until pushed but clean guitars slam through into the mix. The vocals become more of a background element, acting as just another instrument rather than the track’s focus. Wish We Were crescendos, allowing the album’s advance single, Holy Forest, take control. The vocals take a backseat once again, letting densely intricate layers of guitar create a pulsating soundscape. A genuine wall of sound end the track at its highest point.

Glitter begins with an almost thematic bass line, that recurs throughout the song between sections. A rhythmic, distorted riff runs through the latter half of the song, their soft voice slightly more focused than previously. Metamorphosis follows with tastefully glitchy vocals, leading into an energetic section, before dropping down to a more mellow, but still upbeat arrangement. The rest of the song is almost a call and response between these two sections – shifting between loud, energetic instrumentals and more relaxed, groovy voice-dominated passages.

Umi once again opens with an interesting bass line, vocals soaring overhead, though not in focus. Lyubov’s voice soars not like jet overhead, but like an eagle in the distance; too far away to see clearly, but majestic nonetheless. That ‘just out of focus’ sound is an essential part of this record. Umi doesn’t really change pace too much, not until it decays at the end.

Land’s End opens with an un-characteristically dry guitar riff, though the dreamy shoegaze textures return before long. The first half of the song is a hazy drift through textured passages. Halfway through the song, they push the amps to the brink of feedback and force a mountain of sound directly into your soul. Land’s End returns to the way it started, before finishing with another pleasurable assault on the ears.

Ravestar Supreme almost picks up where the previous track finished, with high gain, heavily delayed guitars drowning everything else. Simple yet sophisticated sections fill the rest of the song, until the last third of the track, ending with a section that wouldn’t be out of place finishing a  Bombay Bicycle Club show.

Everything Else Matters ends with Marigold, a nearly nine minute long exploration of everything Pinkshinyultrablast have to offer. From huge, tidal wave-like walls of guitar to delicately intricate melodies, Marigold is a strong end to a consistently enjoyable album.

Everything Else Matters is consistently strong, but doesn’t change pace too much. The quiet, more mellow sections are like lazing around in a warm, bubbly, bath, and the loud sections feel as though you’re sky diving through a Studio Ghibli film. Pinkshinyultrablast fit into the current indie renaissance, but filtered through the 90s.

7/10

Standout Tracks: Wish We Were, Land’s End, Marigold

For Fans of: Lush, Bombay Bicycle Club, Slowdive

 Written by: Sebastian Peters

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