by Haden DeRoberts
Brainbow is a name that resonates with as much psychedelic intonation as the music in which it represents. A simple appellation, that in one word provides a perhaps more accurate diagnosis of who Brainbow is than the content of this article.
With their high level of musical individuality, Brainbow became a chimera of musical standards, commanding an impressive presence in the Columbus indie scene.
Hailing from the city in which they have made their reputation, Brainbow coalesced around 2005 with a line-up of Bobby Silver, David Barnes, Brian Moore, Will Furgman and Chris Worth; all multi-instrumentalists who share a certain essence of cosmic charisma. Each brings to the table their own set of attributes that when blended together function as one musical entity: a brainbow, if you will, of collective thought and energy.
Their collective intellect is exemplified in the band's densely complicated and inspiring anthems. Brainbow's orchestral blend of longing ambience and mighty crescendos is an entirely unique sound that is unconfined and exceeds much of the limitations that common prog-rock imposes on itself. Carefully constructed, this sound consists of countless levels of meticulous intricacies, as if designed with a sense of musical architecture.
Starting their career with their best foot forward, Brainbow can be grouped along with such modern instrumental pioneers such as Explosions in the Sky, and Godspeed You Black Emperor!, while remaining well-saturated with classic stoner whit reminiscent of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd psychedelia.
Aside from a dignified repertoire of material, Brainbow also garnered a name for themselves as a live act. They're able to hold a presence onstage that radiates with an extraterrestrial essence indicative of their music, bringing to their performances the same sense of exploration that can be found in their recordings. Somewhat of a rarity among the world of instrumental music, Brainbow have proven themselves in the past years to be a live act with true showmanship, acquiring a reputation that has gained them an impressive fan base among the Columbus scene.
With this new found success, Brainbow were able to create their first full length album, which they recorded and released entirely on their own in late 2008, helping to elevate their position on the Columbus scene.
The group's self-titled debut shows extensive evidence of having been labored over with meticulous detail, a sign of a promising future for the young band. Brainbow is an album that is in a state of perpetual motion as it plays out, never fully coming to a rest at any point, a production with a real sense of longevity. With each visit, the album's sound exposes itself further, evidence of a group making mature musical choices.
The album begins to shape itself with the slow warble of "The Cast," a meandering musical stairway, building upon itself one long step at a time towards an apex of swirling guitar effluvia.
Nipping on its heels is the next track, "Trance Figure." Here, Brainbow takes on a new identity with a far more kinetic sound that combines noise with melody, and embraces the formulas set forth by the likes of Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine.
On the weighty "Feather Mountain" the band induces somewhat of a dismal trance, conveying a sense of true anguish unheard on any other track on the album.
As "Feather Mountain" dwindles, the climactic "Hex Removal" begins its ascent. Appropriately titled, "Hex Removal" does just as it says, awakening the listener from the despondent hex of "Feather Mountain" in a volatile display of musical fury, jamming out like no other track on the album.
"Folded Mirrors" brings the album to a sense of closure as it builds itself up, then gently breaks itself back down as the song steadily swirls to its eventual end, in a trend that is seen repeated in individual fashion throughout the album.
Brainbow is an album that in its entirety is well rounded and exciting, especially so for a record produced so early in the group's career. Within the album's fairly limited imperfections, lie areas of abundant space for potential growth, showing promise for development. Like a seed in the soil, Brainbow seems sure to breed a lush and expansive future for the group. This being said, Brainbow are young in their musical evolution and with youth comes struggles and awkwardness. Though perhaps not necessarily evident in the outside layers of their debut album, these common obstacles can be found deep inside the nooks and crannies of Brainbow's sound- simple scrapes that in time, given the right choices, maturity can heal.
Brainbow requires a good deal of patience in an audience, but for those who are willing, the payoff is one that's well worth it where the pay-off is a band with keen musical dexterity and depth. Though worthy of a listen from all music fans, Brainbow is not for everyone and if ambling guitar swells just are not what you're looking for, than Brainbow quite simply has nothing to give, but for those who listen in with a sense of open - mindedness, the rewards are potentially rich and satisfying.
Also see Brainbow's MySpace page
|MAIN PAGE||ARTICLES||STAFF/FAVORITE MUSIC||LINKS|