Bleeding Rainbow Yeah Right(Kanine Records) Buy it from Insound
One of my favorite headlines to come out of the music world over the past few years was news of a legal debacle between PBS and the low-fi rockers Reading Rainbow over the name of their band. Their response in November of 2011 was to announce, "We are now BLEEDING RAINBOW!" Punctuated with an enthusiastic exclamation point. The band's 2010 release, Prism Eyes, was a great garage-pop record, so the prospect of a new release, with a pure-bred pedigree of top quality influences, two new band members, and an absurd new name, seemed to spell certain success. Sadly, despite the promising ingredients, Yeah Right fails to do anything to stand out in the already crowded indie-rock scene.
The transition between Reading Rainbow and Bleeding Rainbow isn't immediately apparent. Go Ahead, the first track off of Yeah Right, boasts heavily distorted guitars and Sarah Everton's angelic vocals, much like the bulk of Prism Eyes. It's a promising start, however, the band quickly changes directions on the next track, Pink Ruff. On that track, the band trades the garage rock cacophony for walls of shoegaze distortion.
As a whole the album's sound tends towards a sort of middle ground between the lush fullness of My Bloody Valentine's Loveless and the chaotic artistry of Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation. The textures are expansive, but barbed with a gritty punk edge. The best songs on the album, like the fantastic closer Get Lost, capitalize on this aggression, juxtaposing it with the clarity of Everton's vocals. However, the moments where Bleeding Rainbow begins to dabble with shoegaze often fall flat, as if, after the relative simplicity of Prism Eyes, the band don't seem quite sure what they should be doing with the amount of sound the two new band members add. The "walls of noise" that many of the songs dissolve into doesn't seem to have any real purpose other than to be really, really loud.
And therein lies the problem with Yeah Right - so much thought seems to have gone into making an album influenced by bands like My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth, that Bleeding Rainbow seems to have forgotten to leave room for their own stylistic contribution. The lack of identify causes the vast majority of the album to careen directionless from one influence to another, causing many of the songs to come off as bland and forgettable. That's not to say that Yeah Right is a bad record, it's just that there is little here that hasn't been done better before (particularly by the bands mentioned in their bio page).
It's disappointing that Bleeding Rainbow failed to capture the enthusiasm of the exclamation point that introduced them to the world. They are only a few steps away from making a truly great record, because they certainly aren't lacking in talent, they just need an identity to give it a purpose. I'm not sure if I can call Yeah Right a sophomore slump, due to the name change, so here's to hoping that Bleeding Rainbow rise to the occasion, and blow us all away on their next album.28 January, 2013 - 08:51 — Walter Somerville