Music preview: Bleeding Rainbow has a colorful noise-pop palette
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They all grow up someday, right?
Sad to say, but the members of Philadelphia's noise-pop ensemble Bleeding Rainbow just aren't kids anymore. Two of them are married -- to each other. They had to stop calling themselves "Reading Rainbow" because the PBS children's show barred the quartet from using that name. And from the sound of its third album, the snotty "Yeah, Right," Bleeding Rainbow has matured into the rightful successors to Sonic Youth's noise-grouch crown.
Ask them if they're still smarting about having had to give up their first name for their harder, cooler new name, and singer/bassist Sarah Everton starts in with the jokes. "Technically, I can read while I bleed." She continues to tease when discussing being married to Bleeding Rainbow's co-vocalist and guitarist Rob Garcia: "The hardest part of being married and in the same band together would be getting Rob to mow the lawn on tour, or taking the trash out. Don't even get me started on him not picking up his socks off the floor."
They stop kidding when it comes to being called lightweight and sugary, cutesy even, a charge leveled against Rainbow's first few singles and albums.
No one is calling the swaggering "Yeah, Right" or its first hard single "Drift Away" cute. The new music toys with the drone traditionalism of Glenn Branca and Thurston Moore and an expansive palette of melody and rhythm. Guitarist Al Creedon attributes "Yeah, Right's" grandeur to its expanded recording schedule and period of gestation.
"That allowed us to experiment with everything from sounds to song structures," Mr. Creedon says. "The juxtaposition of dissonant guitars and pop melodies is very interesting to us as a band."
"Drift Away" embodies all the qualities that Bleeding Rainbow is going for in Ms. Everton's estimation: drone, swirly guitars, noise, heavy distortion, all while being really pretty and spacey. "Also, lyrically this song conveys what I was feeling when we wrote the album -- being alienated and alone but empowered by that feeling."
One reason to not feel alone is the band's recent accolades by the membership of Nirvana. While bassist Krist Novaselic tweeted his fondness for the Philly band, Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl talked about his Rainbow connection during a recent appearance on comedian Marc Maron's podcast. Mention to Bleeding Rainbow how wack it must have been to receive an indie-rawk badge of honor, and Rob Garcia perks up: "If by 'wack' you mean the greatest thing to happen ever, then yes. Very wack."
First Published March 7, 2013 12:00 am