sun 16/12/2018

Pinkshinyultrablast, Band on the Wall, Manchester - glitch-pop madness from Russia’s finest | reviews, news & interviews

Pinkshinyultrablast, Band on the Wall, Manchester - glitch-pop madness from Russia’s finest

Pinkshinyultrablast, Band on the Wall, Manchester - glitch-pop madness from Russia’s finest

Three-piece rule the room with their heavy beats and siren-like vocals

Not quite miserable, definitely miraculous

Pinkshinyultrablast might be a long way from their hometown of St Petersburg, but in recent years they’ve built themselves up in England as one of the more bizarre and original bands in today’s psych/shoegaze revival, and on the day their third album Miserable Miracles is released, they hit the north for a night of fuzz and electronic trickery.

Support comes from Warm Digits, whose propulsive set has the room hooked from the off. Mostly playing tracks from their 2017 LP Wireless World, drummer Andrew Hodson and guitarist Steve Jefferies don’t let the groove drop, with their songs forming, disintegrating and reforming into one another. The few short breaks they use to dedicate songs to fracking (“The Rumble and the Tremor”) and global warming (“Wireless World”).

The band are as tight as they are mystical

The visuals playing behind them are hypnotic, ever-changing blasts of neon faces, shapes, and shots of the Blackpool illuminations, perfectly complementing the fast, fun music. Being a two-piece, they rely a lot on pre-recorded vocal samples and synths, but this doesn’t alter just how captivating their set is – there’s not a person in the room who isn’t nodding to the quirky pop of “The Rumble...” or “Growth of Raindrops”.

As their name suggests, Pinkshinyultrablast are, musically, an intense, shimmering juggernaut. Dressed mostly in black, they’d melt into the wall behind them if it wasn’t for the sheer beauty of the music, commanding your attention. Only synth/sampler player Rustam faces the audience, with singer Lyubov performing in profile and Roman practically playing guitar with his back to the audience, making them appear as much art installation as band.

Their set begins with the tropically-flavoured percussion of “Dance AM”, which sets the tone for the evening. In every song, the band draw out the basslines and drum patterns to such an extent that the music is trance-like, practically lifting the feet of the audience and forcing them to dance. Another consequence of this is that Lyubov’s vocals are perhaps lower in the mix than they should be, but this only adds to their shapeless, ethereal quality. Grandfeathered cut “The Cherry Pit” is another highlight, with walls of fuzziness rising and falling throughout the euphoric piece.

Although musically they’re almost transcendental, between songs they’re chatty and personable, talking about Jeremy Corbyn, the beauty of Manchester, and the fact that it’s Lyubov’s birthday, prompting a shambolic round of “Happy Birthday” from the crowd.

If their set has a fault, it’s that their sound is so clearly defined, and the songs they perform are so new (having been released for less than 24 hours), that the tracks occasionally blur into one another. That said, the band are as tight as they are mystical, making it next to impossible not to enjoy them in all their oddity.

The St Petersburg trio are, musically, an intense, shimmering juggernaut

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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