Pinkshinyultrablast – Grandfeathered
Shoegaze is a style of music rife with melancholy. Somber songs alluding to heartbreak, empty beds, and lonely nights are the norm, with songs featuring hazy guitars, saturated in rich effects. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with it, in can lead to music that’s more about aesthetic than substance. Fortunately, there are bands that think outside of convention, and just want to have fun. Hailing from the cold, northern landscapes of Saint Petersburg, Russia comes Pinkshinyultrablast, and the happiest shoegaze band on the planet. The band has been around since 2007, but didn’t release their debut album, Everything Else Matters, until 2015. To my surprise, their follow up, Grandfeathered, was released just a year later. In that short time, that band has been some noticeable changes in their sound.
From the start it’s immediately clear the band is experimenting with new sounds. The first track “Initial” is completely electronic, fusing the ethereal nature of synth pop with the choppy vocal samples of early cloud rap. This sonic exploration is then followed up by the rocking nature of “Glow Vastly”, combining the usual glimmering, airy textures one expects from Pinkshiny with riffs that aren’t unlike those of early NWOBHM bands. The rest of the album retains the same carefree energy, with songs full of bright, sunny guitar work, and prancing rhythms that make me want to run through a field of sunflowers. Each song is full of catchy hooks and undeniable grooves that will have smiling and bobbing your head along to the beat. In addition to the fun and playful melodies coming from guitar and bass, synthesizer is more present on this album, adding another layer of to the bliss. It should be also mentioned that the bass player carries the majority of the melodic content present on these songs, with guitars usually focusing and playing noisy chords. There’s plenty of riffs in odd time signatures, proving Pinkshinyultrablast are one of the most musically inclined bands in the shoegaze sphere. The vocals are breezy and atmospheric, splitting the clouds in the sky and showering down like an angel’s chorus.
Overall, Pinkshinyultrablast take everything good about shoegaze and inject an irresistible sense of wonderment and happy-go-lucky vibes with cheerful and engaging sense of melody and structure. While other bands conjure images of sunbathing on a warm summer day with their music, Pinkshinyultrablast conjure images of running around carefree with your closet friends on summer break, venturing to faraway lands and soaking in the sun.