Yeah, a Leeds band! Menace Beach are Liza Violet and Ryan Needham of 'the scene'. Their third album, Black Rainbow Sound, is distinct from their past efforts in that it was conceived entirely in the studio. Though more dense and experimental than before, their poppy no-wave is still as fun as ever. And this time features a cameo from The Fall's Brix Smith!
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Last week Sauna Youth released a record and so did Menace Beach. It’s a conspiracy, believe you me: bands who ruled up the place in approximately ‘15 to ‘16 are back on their carbon fuzzprint, bringing us records we would’ve been talking up as the best new thing. Now grown up and wizened in their years, they’re delivering us records that are fully keyed in on their sound, and able to try a couple new things along the way.
‘Black Rainbow Sound’ sounds like a bold new step for Menace Beach: a little less feral, they now attach their distorted pop to the rhythmic flexes of krautrock, bringing to mind bands like Broadcast, Stereolab and Deerhunter in their fluorescent guitar churn. The goofy, hauntologist synths bring us a Menace Beach who’ve been digitised and rebooted and put into a new video game level: merry-go-round aesthetics and the 8-bit solos replace what was once little more than a bitter punk sound.
When a band reinvents themselves as well as Menace Beach have, there’s nothing as fun. This record might be a complete and utter genre rewrite for them, and a massive tonal shift -- even the basslines are these whirring, theme tune ditties now, a la “Tongue” -- but it feels well won, their newfound hypnosis game meeting the joyous abandon that has always sold me on their music. It's a wonderland experiment.
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- Black Rainbow Sound by Menace Beach
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