Band names are often weird, but sometimes they’re really out there. Oddly enough, Pinkshinyultrablast is a name that somehow fits this power-shoegaze group from St. Petersburg, whose sound is a mix of airy dream and heavy noise pop. Everything Else Matters is their debut full-length album, and it is packed with tightly wound tracks that will have your head shaking and your feet tapping fiercely.
You wouldn’t believe my previous statement at the outset of the album, as opener “Wish We Were” creeps in slowly, but as the name of this band suggests, the band just needs a little bit of time to light the fuse before this record explodes into full throttle shoegaze bliss. A few minutes in the song takes off, transitioning from distant and ethereal to tangible and rocking. The drums and infectiously shoegazey guitars kick in, moving the song right along to the sleek sound that Pinkshinyultrablast does so well. “Holy Forest” keeps things heading in this same direction—the band’s sound blends electronic elements like synth and super reverb soaked vocals with the cutting electricity of the white hot guitars to create blazing tracks with speed and intrigue.
Each track pushes through to blossom into its own little explosion of dream pop bliss, some hitting harder and heavier, while other soar through lightly and airy. The vocals play a large part in the balance of Everything Else Matters, creating contrast to the music when its weighed down with a deep bass groove or when the guitars are shredding. “Metamorphosis” and lead single “Umi” are the bands’ best examples of this balance. The first of these two holds true to its name, alternating between simmering instrumentation and straightforward alt rock, the bass line stringing the two together perfectly. “Umi,” on the other hand, is just plain pretty and lush; synths and the lead soft vocals compete for your attention while the peppiness of the percussion bounces you along. Both of these are just two of the types of dream pop you’ll find on this album, and there are a lot more adventurous tracks for you to dance along to.
Just as this firework of an album begins, it fizzles out slowly, akin to the residual smoke that is left behind when the brilliant explosion fades away. What you’re left with is that elated feeling of wonder and excitement, and the burning desire to start it all over again. While this is an album that makes you want to just turn up the volume and jam along, after a couple of times through it begins to fall slightly dimmer each time—still good jams, but a little less hard hitting than the first time.