[sic] Magazine

Flyying Colours – ROYGBIV EP

Shoegaze, much loved by us here at [sic] Magazine, originated at the tail-end of the 80s and was all but over just 3 or 4 years’ later. That’s when ‘scenes’ still existed in music… but maybe that’s a discussion for another time. Despite the fact that there weren’t a great number of shoegaze bands around during its original inception, it maybe seems a bit surprising that there’s been such a resurgence of interest in it in recent years – but I guess that’s the beauty of a scene which carries such a legacy of quality acts – most of them sadly missed, especially if ticket sales for recent reformation gigs for the likes of RIDE, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine & Swervedriver are anything to go by.

Anyway, another week, another bizarre band name spelling… and this record also has the Club AC30 stamp of approval. If the band spelling doesn’t get you, then the title probably will – ROYGBIV, it turns out, is an acronym for the sequence of colours in a rainbow – namely Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. So you might say that this record sounds like all the colours of the rainbow.

Flyying Colours originate from Melbourne, Australia and this is their second EP. Hey, just a thought – but why is it that the majority of shoegaze bands which are around at the minute seem to originate from outside the UK? It’s interesting to note that shoegaze was pretty much a UK-based scene and in the years since then, its appeal has clearly gone global.

Anyone who remembers the original shoegaze scene will know that it was famous for a number of things – the main one being a band member’s ability to stare at his feet while playing his instrument (usually very loudly and through a bank of effect pedals) – but an often-overlooked reason was that it also produced some of the most amazing EPs. This was at a time when singles were still important of course – but many of these releases were almost like mini-albums in their own right and took pride of place on the nation’s bookshelves. Take Lush‘s ‘Scar’ & ‘Mad Love, Curve’s ‘Blindfold’ & ‘Frozen’ or RIDE’s ‘Fall’ & ‘Today Forever. There were plenty of others besides, but the overriding link between them was that the quality was exceptionally high. It was as if the idea of a ‘b-side’ track was shunned, ensuring that EPs were absolutely chock-full of superb songs.

The first thing to say about ROYGBIV is that it very nearly fulfils all these requirements. ‘I Don’t Want To Let You Down’ has all the hallmarks of classic shoegaze. Firstly, it sounds so damned sexy, the moment the bass kicks in it just grabs you by the throat. Melodic vocals are present and correct – with both male and female harmonies (in a sort of Lush meets The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart kind of way) sitting atop of layered, distorted guitars and just the best bass guitar you’ll hear this side of the equator. This track is just one of several highlights on this EP.

‘Not Today’ is stunning. I absolutely love it. Like the best bits of RIDE and My Bloody Valentine, it comes on like a juggernaut and doesn’t let up until the final, closing seconds. I’ve probably played this track around 30 times now and it just seems to get better and better. The entrance fee for ROYGBIV is worth it for this track alone – but I really don’t suggest you leave the other tracks on the shelf as this EP is pretty much as good as EPs get.

So, I mentioned that the EP ‘very nearly’ fulfils the requirements – only ‘Running Late’ doesn’t quite weave its magic for me. It’s not that it’s a bad track, it’s just not quite up there with the quality of the four other tracks. It’s a very minor point because this EP is what used to be referred to as a ‘no-risk disc’. It’s just blossoming with superb sounds that I defy any fan of shoegaze not to like. It’s available on shocking pink vinyl, which is an absolute must.