The anthemic and statuesque ‘Goodtimes’ kicks opens the doors of the new and blistering album ‘Fantasy Country’ by Melbourne band Flyying Colours. And what you get at the beginning is what you can expect through to the end of this extremely enjoyable and highly rewarding album.
In ‘Goodtimes’ there is an amusing tension between the languid, dripping melancholic vocal tones and the call for bacchanalia in the lyrics – yeah, we’re feeling alright – we’re gonna have a good time – an exquisitely mournful call to party hard in the sunshine. Ultimately though this is a pure pop masterpiece with its swelling keys keys, electronic percussion and slashing chimes of guitars.
Indeed, Flyying Colours have delivered an album that has all the hallmarks of exemplary shoegaze/dream pop tropes – shimmering walls of guitars, distant vocals and a mesmerising drone – and in the process crafted something that is unique, highly distinctive and immensely enjoyable.
‘It’s Real’ is practically jaunty – the flange and chorus pedals cloak the guitars and the Springsteen-like melody combines to create something restless and hyperactive with scaling choruses, redolent of ‘Head on the Door’ era The Cure.
The core of the sound in third track ‘OK’ is the background feedback that simmers and paces around in the background with the jangling guitars a counterpoint. The combined vocals again add a satisfying aura – laid back, almost distant and emotionless, breathless and melodic. Guitar progressions have their own mountainous melodies.
‘OK’ is an absolutely lovely track with its repeating riffs and layered harmonies – mesmerising and hypnotic psychedelia with a pop sensibility.
Flyying Colours bring a delightful patina to the vocals throughout the album – shared male and female vocals intertwine and glide across the thundering guitars and relentless drums.
‘White Knuckles’ is over five minutes of chiselling guitars and a repeating, circular refrain that hypnotises. The rhythm section simply pound like maniacs as the guitars arc and scythe their way through the mix. Squealing feedback and wild guitar abuse lead to the conclusion. It is a pulse quickening tune – heady and transfixing leaving you somewhat shattered and your ears ringing as you reach for the repeat button. Very cathartic.
Sixth track ‘Eyes Open’ is a brief, mostly instrumental that has celestial choruses in the distance that serves to provide a moment of rest between the storms.
‘This One’ takes off the brakes and catapults forth with the kind of hurricane blast you last heard from My Bloody Valentine, complete with a slight warp to the guitars and a serious but oh so enjoyable assault to the senses.
The album does not hang around long (all the better to immediately start again). The circular, repeating hypnotic riffs of final track ‘Boarding Pass’ is a gentle and entrancing exit from a very big high. The effect is to induce a glorious reverie with the background drone driving the rhythm and the vocals sleepy and spiritual, given emphasis by a stabbing keyboard and buzz saw guitars that ascend and retreat. It’s immense as the night sky and just as sparkling and enchanting.
The band’s last album was released in 2016. A whole presidential term. Brodie J Brümmer from the band says:
While it’s been a long time seemingly between records it doesn’t feel like that so much for us. We have previously been able to throw ourselves into recording over a period of time, however with this record was about creating that time in between touring and life. We are real people who work to pay our rent and to be able to go on tour.
Indeed – time went through a strange black hole in 2020. The band is looking forward to touring again, after some pretty big headline tours through Europe in 2016 and some big name supports (Johnny Marr, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Black Angels and A Place to Bury Strangers):
This album was supposed to now be 6-12 months old. We take touring and supporting our music live pretty seriously so it would have been very difficult for us to put out this album during the early stages of the pandemic. We are very lucky to be in Australia right now where shows are starting up again, and we of course hope to be touring internationally again soon.
A live perfomance from this band is something to look forward to. The album is out now (26 February 2021) via Club AC30/Poison City You can get it through the normal streaming/download sites, the record labels or directly from the band below:
Flyying Colours is Brodie J Brümmer, Gemma O’Connor, Melanie Barbaro and Andy Lloyd-Russell.