While Dick usually likes to be buried in records pre-1990 at the latest, this week’s entry is one of those rare exceptions where something moderately new has caught his eagle eye; the blissed-out noise of Russian shoegaze band, Pinkshinyultrablast.
How on earth did you find out about this one, Dick?
Through the excellent London based label, Club AC30. Having been a fan of the brilliantly named Ringo Deathstarr for some time, I started to research other bands on the label. None of them stood out quite like the debut album from Pinkshinyultrablast, Everything Else Matters. Forming around 8 years ago in St Petersburg, Russia, the trade in heavy, reverb-laced riffs intertwined with saccharine sweet melody. Imaging Ride jamming with Lush and you would be on the right track.
The other factor that drew me to them was their name, which is a homage to the 2004 Astrobrite album of the same name; an album that inspired Pinkshinyultrablast in more ways than one. They owe a lot to the cult band, sound wise, but adding extra layers of keys and electronics make what would be a very glacial sound quite warm and wholesome.
Are they not just “shoegaze revival” bandwagon jumpers, though?
Definitely not. There’s much more to Pinkshinyultrablast than that. While shoegaze is it bit of a silly expression anyway, the Russian band are reinventing the genre in their own image, while paying homage to the past with respect. The revival that has seen anyone with a Fender Jaguar and rack full of effects pedals get labelled as shoegaze, but most seem vapid, lacking the songwriting ability and dressing it up with noise. The same can’t be said for Everything Else Matters.
At only eight tracks deep, the album never outstays its welcome but hits with enough potency that you’re desperate for more. Rather than go for a more traditional quiet/loud structure that is popular amongst alt-rock bands, Pinkshinyultrablast just throw the loud, the quiet, the dissonant and the melodic in the same pot. They stack riffs on top of riffs until their collapse in a cascade of shimmering delay, reverb, and feedback. The songs are perfectly crafted, too, with The Holy Forest and Umi acting as two shining example of cosmic, noise-pop brilliance.
Vinyl issues are scarce for Everything Else Matters, and each time Club AC30 prints a new variant, it sells out in a matter of seconds. However, it is worth the fun and patience tracking it down, as it is a modern shoegaze gem.
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