Flyying Colours Mindfullness

[Club AC30; 2016]

Styles: shoegaze, psych
Others: Ride, Ringo Deathstarr, Rev Rev Rev, Stargazer Lilies, Dead Meadow

It’s easy to see the crossover potential between shoegaze and psychedelic music. What is shoegaze if not a fulfillment of psych’s promise to fuck your mind? It’s only natural to eventually link the thread running from psych records like Brain Ticket’s Cottonwoodhill, which came packaged with an inner sleeve warning that the band’s music would destroy your brain, to something like Loveless where first impressions of some My Bloody Valentine’s “To Here Knows when” led some listeners to believe that they were hearing a warped tape. Great psychedelic music should be disruptive. It should aim to disconnect the listener from the visceral world. The aforementioned albums have arguably done just that, and many of the most cherished songs in the shoegaze canon such as “Soon,” “Souvlaki Space Station,” and “Leave Them All Behind” call back to psych classics like “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “Set Controls For the Heart of the Sun,” and “Eight Miles High” in their use of drone, repetition, and editing to achieve such an effect. Australia’s Flyying Colours (not to be confused with the Dream Theater offshoot band hahahaha) haven’t quite got that element down just yet. But this is the same band that named a song “WavyGravy” after the hippie countercultural icon and “official clown” of the Grateful Dead (according to Wikipedia anyway). What they lack in pushing the envelope is made up for with highly enjoyable, well written songs. With it’s soft focus melodies and dual vocal harmonizing I keep coming back to this idea that Mindfullness could be the American Beauty of shoegaze.

There was that brief period in the mid-00s, amidst the waves of “new weird America” and “freak folk” that bands like Dead Meadow, Dungen, and Warlocks were taking psych rock in ever dreamier directions. Flyying Colours sound like they might remember this. If anything, their debut full-length for Club AC30 (one of the towering figures in modern shoegaze, having released albums from major players such as Ringo Deathstarr and Pinkshinyultrablast) sounds like those bands filtered through Ride’s Nowhere pedalboard. Altenately, imagine if Feathers had openly worshipped Isn’t Anything as much as Piper at the Gates of Dawn and you’ll be in the right ballpark. Which is to say that the boldfaced pop of “Long Holiday” and “It’s Tomorrow Now” employ psychedelic guitar noodling as embellishment more than being Mindfullness’ main draw.

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