St Peterburg’s Pinkshinyultrablast have been causing quite a stir amongst shoegaze fans, and beyond, over the last year or so. Taking their name from an album by the relatively obscure American shoegaze project Astrobrite, the band instantly reveal how much they are embedded into the genre. This could be seen both positively and negatively, something that is evidenced by the band’s music. On the one hand it shows a deep knowledge that is reflected in their obvious influences from the likes of the Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine, while on the other it might be quite limiting should the band be too wedded to these groups. On hearing their debut album, ‘Everything Else Matters’, I would say that there might just be a clue in the title in that Pinkshinyultrablast are looking outside the shimmer and melody to develop a sound that is perhaps harder and moves away from the mellifluousness of shoegaze and as a result the band have certainly developed a good base on which to build.
As such I went into the Camp wondering when I could see signs of a work in progress and where this might go. Coming in shortly after they had got underway I had to make my way though a pretty large crowd, and was immediately struck by the wall of noise. This was a not just a band engrossed in the fey intricacies that mark much shoegaze music, but one that uses it as a base upon which to blast out something that rocks out much more that I had imagined it would. It was as if Liz Frazer was fronting the Jesus and Mary Chain at times.
I read recently that Pinkshinyultrablast would be fine as long as Lush did not reform. Well Lush have reformed and, actually, I think Pinkshinyultrablast will be fine because although they are a band that is rooted in the 1980s and 90s, they are much more than that; shoegaze is only part of what makes this group of Russians fresh and interesting
You can find my other writing for Backseat Mafia here, including reports from this year’s Liverpool PsychFest.
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