Odd Box Records [OB003], 2009

happy songs for happy zombies cover

Pinkshinyultrablast

Happy Songs for Happy Zombies (EP)

★★★ ☆

REVIEW

We don’t usually think of Eastern Europe as a shoegaze hub, and what little there has been in the past (Ecstasy of St Theresa and Pia Fraus come to mind), doesn’t tend to remain shoegaze for very long. This St. Petersburg collective however achieved something approaching cult hero status when they put this EP out in 2009. The band is named after a release by US shoegaze/noise/drone maestro Scott Cortez’s side project Astrobrite. This EP however cribs directly from the classic shoegaze sound of the early 1990s: wispy, amorphous female vocals not unlike Alison’s Halo floating over dense waves of guitar distortion and reverb.

While a number of nu-gazer bands pick a particular tempo and stick with it (usually going with the ethereal or aggressive route), Pinkshinyultrablast pick both. The overdriven guitars of “Deerland” give way to the C86-style jangling guitars of “Honeybee”, which nonetheless still manages to include the airplane hangar –levels of echoing guitar whoosh that pops up throughout the EP. As debut releases go, the band certainly set a high water mark here; candied melodies and gorgeous guitar tones that are coated (as opposed to slathered) with feedback make for a thoroughly entertaining 14 minutes.