TRACK | Bleeding Rainbow – Underground

5/5 golden merles

From Pennsylvania-based noise makers Bleeding Rainbow‘s 2010 Prism Eyes EP, “Underground” is bright and radiant rock. Some unique genre contamination in the shoegaze and punk elements and structure, it’s a kind of modular pop chimera. With the aural vocal phrasing stacked in two lanes, the miscellany of influences are always serving foremost melody.

Frenetic, everything pushes constantly forward. There is a proactive panic that elides stagnation, rapidly circumnavigates the drudgery of taking a breath, or pause, or a moments silence. Every vowel is elongated to enwrap the line and seemingly also to cushion the final blow: who can direct us where to go / my mind’s made up / the answer’s ‘no.’

The internet promises that the Hozac discs still exist in the world, and some of which are gold.

TRACK | Reading Rainbow – Stand Back and Take a Good Look (The Nerves)

5/5 golden merles

Off the superb Volar Records 2013 comp Under the Covers Vol. 2: A Tribute to Paul Collins, Peter Case, and Jack Lee (of the Nerves), Reading Rainbow’s version of “Stand Back and Take a Good Look” is more than a cover, structurally reengineering the track to great result.

It is a minimalist but dynamic adaptation: rolling hills of reverb careening and overlapping the dual vocal melodies, reciting the refrain as command. A bit of the coarseness has been refined formalistically, but partially reintroduced in the richness of guitar tone. It is a fitting tribute and feels like the hooks have only been honed over the elapsed decades.

The opening track, Grass Widow’s “Why are You Walking Out on Love,” also stands out as another especially constructive modification. A gateway to some great songwriting/songwriters, available for $7 from Volar.