Pinkshinyultrablast - Grandfeathered
This is the sophomore release from Russian five piece noise terrorists Pinkshinyultrablast, hot on the heels of their debut, 2015's Everything Else Matters. Hailing from Saint Petersburg, a city not normally associated with electro shoe-gazing, the cacophony they unleash is overlaid by ethereal floating vocals from frontwoman Lyubov Soloveva; singing in English for the most part, rather than her native tongue. Taking their name from the third album by fellow postrockers Astrobrite, Pinkshinyultrablast take their inspirations and wring them for all they are worth, distilling them into Grandfeathered.
Where the group have attempted to move forward is by revisiting the quiet-and-loud style they demonstrated on their debut and flipping this on it’s head by dispensing with as much of the quiet as they can get away with, focusing on the loud and dense. And oh my, is it dense. Proceedings kick off with ‘Initial’ - a standout track on the album, mainly because it doesn’t sound like anything else on the record, electronic heavy it comes across as if Fuckbuttons decided to recruit Elizabeth Fraser on vocals. All of this before mutating into the heavy riff work of ‘Glow Vastly’, followed swiftly by highlights ‘I Catch You Napping’ and ‘Kiddy Pool Dreams’. These two tracks truly give you an idea of what the group are capable of, with their insistent driving rhythms combining the sounds of My Bloody Valentine and Yo La Tengo with Cocteau Twins and Chvrches.
Sadly this is to the album’s detriment. Grandfeathered sounds like a band urgent and desperate to cram all of their new ideas into eight tracks, which can make for a difficult listen. Heavily distorted guitars push Lyubov’s voice so far into the mix that at times it gets lost completely. It makes for an imposing first impression but not enough to keep coming back to. Peel back the layers though and there are some gems on offer.