Sarah Everton and Rob Garcia, founding members of Philadelphia-based, lo-fi pop duo Reading Rainbow, recently changed their handle to Bleeding Rainbow at the rumored urging of Wild Flag’s Carrie Brownstein. And while the collective being of human curiosity eagerly awaits LeVar Burton’s true thoughts on this contentious matter, fans can, in the meanwhile, enjoy the additional brick and mortar this former twosome added to their wall of sound. Yeah Right is a charming record, showcasing an act willing to broaden the range of its musical output. However, the album’s instrumental sojourns and lyrical plainness feel more like science fair trial-and-error rather than true experimentation.
Album opener “Go Ahead” sets the record’s tone with its female-male harmonized croon over music that races toward distortion midway through the track. Songs like “Shades of Eternal Night” and “Losing Touch” reach back to draw deep from the well of 90’s shoegaze and, to a lesser extent, some of grunge’s poppier offerings. While dremel-buzzed guitars evoke inevitable comparisons to Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine, the final product here suffers a bit from overly clear vocals and a simplistic A,A,B,B rhyme-scheme on “Inside my Head” and “Drift Away” (“Pass through each day and every night / but in this moment it feels right / My eyes are cloudy like the sky / the streets are empty but they’re dry”).
The coveted pop-to-grind ratio is a delicate tightrope walk, requiring either a tongue-in-cheek bravado (i.e. Sleigh Bells) or at least a full on commitment to take a sound somewhere over the rainbow of rehashed 90’s alternative with some extra reverb tossed in on the end. Nevertheless, the band’s departure from Reading Rainbow’s dreamier vocals and softer melodies in favor of production value and meandering instrumental forays, highlights a group interested in seeking that balance. Whether they will one day achieve it remains to be seen.
Essential Tracks: “Pink Ruff”, “Losing Touch”