Pinkshinyultrablast
Grandfeathered


3.5
great

Review

by YetAnotherBrick USER (39 Reviews)
March 11th, 2016 | 69 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A little too comfortable with its modesty, Grandfeathered is beautiful, but deserves some more transforming.

It's difficult to be put off by a sound as soft, dreamy and forgiving as Pinkshinyultrablast's, especially at first glance. Their mixture of bouncy, strategically placed synth lines, crunchy, swelling guitars and wispy, angelic vocals is a tried-and-true formula, this time arranged in a slightly more modern and bubbly fashion. It's evident that the band has a very clear idea of what they're trying to do here; the cutesy-surreal album cover and the innocent, and quite frankly, wonderful song titles ("Glow Vastly," "Kiddy Pool Dreams") all point to a very specific package. And the band does deliver for the most part, finding themselves in numerous moments of refreshingly unpretentious beauty through the album's duration. But one can't help but think that this band, and this music, deserves more than a tried-and-true formula. Grandfeathered sure is pretty enough, so why not make it detailed enough?

It's clear from the get-go that this album is something of an improvement upon the band's debut, Everything Else Matters. The band wisely carried over their strong suits, notably the ever-present and remarkably catchy bass lines that never fail to give the guitar noise a sense of direction. And whereas the songs on the debut often found themselves locked in a stationary haze, a nice amount of new dynamics have been injected into the songs here. This is most evident in "I Catch You Napping," which, incidentally, might be the best song on the album. It opens in familiar shoegaze fashion, complete with an adorable descending synth melody. Then the guitar haze pulls away for the verses, save for some accented twinkles, before it slowly inches its way back, in time for the truly transcendent chorus. It's an undeniably memorable track, appearing to somewhat define Grandfeathered, even while it's only the third song on the album. Opener "Initial" stands out as well though, but in a different way, as it's the album's only song that leans closer to electro-dream pop than shoegaze. This was probably a deliberate choice, but one can't help but wonder how beautifully the album would transform with just a little more of this kind of variation.

The album washes along, slightly entrancing you at most junctures along the way. But it's never quite psychedelia, and though the songs' structures are tight and kept very well track of, the element that most exemplifies this fact is the vocals, always there to remind you where the verses and choruses are. They're airy, female coos that are so airy they begin to sound distant, though they're really quite present in the mix. And they're beautiful, for sure, practically designed so. But they remain in the same tone for the entire album. The melodies are definitely more memorable than on the debut, by creating more obvious, and much catchier patterns with their notes, rather than just cooing ripples into the pool. But again, they end up as one of the things keeping the album on a regrettably stationary level. The band insists on keeping the vocals always present, but for some reason, sees no need to alter their sound according to each song. They never become more than what they first appear as, and I can't help but be slightly disappointed by that.

And yet, Grandfeathered never reaches for what it can't grasp, and I suppose that's what keeps it so endearing. It's calming and subtly hypnotic within the modest standards it creates for itself. Though never completely transformative, it has an amiable, welcoming attitude that may just be welcoming enough to keep you coming back. Pinkshinyultrablast has their attitude and their aesthetic already down to a tee, which is impressive for how young a band they are. But their worlds deserve more detail; a landscape more striking, more finished. And Grandfeathered is all the evidence we need that they're so very capable of that creation. Thanks for the hope, guys. I shall keep catching you napping until then.



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user ratings (75)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
YetAnotherBrick
March 11th 2016


6691 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

last two sentences are kinda cheesy i know, but i wanted to end on a note like that more than the note of the preceding sentence. anyways, band's aesthetic gets a 5, music gets a 3.5. very, very worth a listen



also just realized that i use the phrase "can't help but" three times in this review, lool. at least they're all in different paragraphs

Sinternet
March 11th 2016


22343 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, really enjoyed this album.

Digging: Carly Rae Jepsen - Dedicated Side B

Mystletainn
March 11th 2016


4050 Comments


Band aesthetic gets a 5

Wat?

Much better than the debut

YetAnotherBrick
March 11th 2016


6691 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i love their name and album covers and shit yo

Mystletainn
March 11th 2016


4050 Comments


Ah, gotcha

Ya me too

YetAnotherBrick
March 11th 2016


6691 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

what's your favorite track from this

Sinternet
March 11th 2016


22343 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the Cherry Pit

Mystletainn
March 11th 2016


4050 Comments


I've only heard this once but it was either
Comet marbles, the cherry pit or molkky

But overall I found this quite solid and enjoyed it all pretty equally.

YetAnotherBrick
March 11th 2016


6691 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah i really like The Cherry Pit and Comet Marbles too. wanted to mention The Cherry Pit here but it didn't really come up with the way i wrote the review. my favorite is prolly I Catch You Napping tho.



and that's interesting, six. but idk i just hear more spaces within the songs here, more sounds come through

YetAnotherBrick
March 11th 2016


6691 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah i bet the lyrics are great, if they're consistent with the rest of the album's design. a few words surfaced for me but most of the time the vocals just kinda blended into the music, which with this kind of music is cool with me. for the time being anyway

Presence
March 12th 2016


92 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Was about to sleep on this album, but Initial trapped me.

YetAnotherBrick
March 12th 2016


6691 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah Initial definitely reels you in

YakNips
March 12th 2016


19949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

aoty so far for sure

ArsMoriendi
March 12th 2016


29655 Comments


Who names these bands? PINKSHINYULTRABLAST?

Digging: Robovine - Get Dusted!

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2016


25607 Comments


been meaning to check these guys. album art draws me in and ive been meaning to check out other nu-gaze bands

Keyblade
March 12th 2016


29033 Comments


"Who names these bands? PINKSHINYULTRABLAST?"

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/soundoff.php?albumid=122115

YetAnotherBrick
March 12th 2016


6691 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^



"aoty so far for sure"



eh- Ulver, Suuns, Nadra...

wtferrothorn
March 12th 2016


5849 Comments


"Who names these bands? PINKSHINYULTRABLAST?"
yeah, give them a medal. really like the name.

YetAnotherBrick
March 12th 2016


6691 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's a cool tribute, and it's perfect for the music

YetAnotherBrick
March 12th 2016


6691 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

interesting hypothesis



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