Dream-like sounds from a band in flux...
'Black Rainbow Sound'

Someone once said that over the rainbow the dreams you dare to dream really do come true. If this is correct then ‘Black Rainbow Sound’ is the soundtrack to Menace Beach’s dreams.

Since their 2015 debut album, Menace Beach have been purveyors of delirious psych-pop. A place where retro sounding synths jostle with fuzzed out guitars, pulsing bass lines and delicate lilting vocals. ‘Black Rainbow Sound’ follows this on, but everything feels more pronounced and deliberate.

‘Satellite’ undulates with drum machines, hypnotic loops and vocals that wouldn't be out of place on a Broadcast album. ‘Crawl In Love’ is more of the same, but its hard to tell where the synths end and the vocals start. ‘Mutator’ is a standout moment full of catchy rhythms and Kraut-pop motifs.

Brix Smith bookends the album appearing on the opening and closing tracks. Her appearance adds something extra, both to the album and herself. Menace Beach get to record with a hero, which is cool, and Brix can lock in with new artists. Win win. The songs are dense with catchy synths, heaving drums and the kind of guitars that make you smile.

‘Black Rainbow Sound’ is an album that shows a band in flux. The songs sounds bigger and more articulated. Menace Beach are using a larger musical palate and it mostly works, swapping the messy surf guitars and charming slacker vibes while allowing the songs to speak for themselves. Reinvention is crucial for creativity, after all.

7/10

Words: Nick Roseblade

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