Black Rainbow Sound is an indie pop album with every lacquer scrubbed, every smooth surface sandpapered down to a scratchy matte. This is music entirely at odds with the increasingly glossy and playlist-friendly sound of indie pop, and all the better for it.
An album without time or scene, the Leeds duo Menace Beach have provided one of the most captivatingly oddball albums of the year. Coy, playful ‘Tongue’ is the closest you’ll get to 4/4 here, with a more straightforward groove of fuzzed out guitar settling in. The mewling vocal stylings of singer Liza Violet are a marmite sound, sure to drive away indie purists as much as they draw in those on the fringes.
Menace Beach are not really a guitar band and are very much focused on texture, with lyrics taking a back seat to avid, wide-eyed adventures down the rabbit-hole of synth experimentation. Krautrock voodoo permeates the amelodic throbbing of ‘Crawl in Love’, whereas ‘Holy Crow’ hums with a positivity which, played straight, may have formed some sort of torch song. But Menace Beach never take the obvious route.
Black Rainbow Sound is absolutely batshit, twisting instrument and voice inside and out in ever stranger variations. No crowd pleaser, but perfect for those seeking something to push the senses.