Pinkshinyultrablast – Grandfathered – Josh Reedy’s Album Review
Written by Staff on November 5, 2023
Pinkshinyultrablast – Grandfeathered. Review by Joshua Reedy.
My copies: Limited 2016 press on pink and purple vinyl and limited 2016 press on “acid lollypop” vinyl, both by Club AC30.
trailing their full-length debut by only a year, Granfeathered takes Pinkshinyultrablast’s signature shoegaze style and stretches it thin through prog-influenced songwriting labyrinths – while this works on some occasions, the rapidly shifting structures can easily overwhelm compared to their earlier, more breathable tunes. Sonically, Grandfeathered works in electronic concepts, with more focus on synth walls and melodies, though they fall into repetitive guitar tones frequently.
Opener “Initial” is an impressive departure from their former sound, and is the only song to patiently build with shimmering synth drones and glitched vocals into a light, heavenly edm breakdown with only a touch of reverb-soaked guitars. “Glow Vastly” then thrusts forward into progressive guitar riffs, broken up by contrastingly sweet vocals. Gone are the longer, freeform ambient passages – instead momentary refuge can be found in some synth drones before bursts of distortion pick up again. The mood on “I Catch You Napping” is elated with frenetic drums that refuse to settle in until lush, descending guitar tones finally push into a steadier beat. The hard power-pop riffs of “Kiddy Pool Dreams” are dense and fun, if not a bit jarring compared to their level-headed use of distortion in earlier efforts. The structures are chaotic and elaborate, trampling through ideas with vigor. The abundance of movements can be inspiring, but also over-stimulating.
“Comet Marbles” again pits winding prog riffs against swirling synth curtains, but neatly revives the bass with a greater focus on rhythm via an extended bridge section. “The Cherry Pit” harkens back to Everything Else Matters with crystalline guitar strokes and charming, carefree vocal melodies. The band’s unique jangled guitar sound makes appearances, though infrequently as distortion trumps serenity here. The vocal intimacy of “Molkky” is surprising, with a performance that foregoes the typically heavy reverb and echo for a more personable atmosphere. “Grandfeathered” itself is swanky with invigorating bursts of energy, but should be half as long as it is.
Moving away from the delicacy of their shorter, sweeter pop singles from the prior record, Pinkshinyultrablast is more committed to intensity with brief patches of tranquility on Grandfeathered. This shift in writing works when the riffs are fun enough (“Kiddy Pool Dreams”) but also feels like a step away from what made them interesting to begin with (that is, steady, impressive melodies with unique tones). This new style is at its best when delving into electronic music such as on opener “Initial.