Bleeding Rainbow’s evolution in name, noise and attitude was as simple as the Philadelphia act’s decision to chuck their old band moniker in the rubbish bin and embrace the growing extremity in their post-shoegaze sound.
Guitarist Rob Garcia says the band had been thinking of ditching their previous name, Reading Rainbow, for a long time and finally did so last December.
The band hadn’t been sued by the makers of the long-running PBS children’s show, but Garcia says they were eager to move on from the name, especially since the band members were “sick of these really bad questions and comments we would get” on tour.
Plus, the switch to Bleeding Rainbow provided a better match for the mood the band was going for with their current sound.
“It’s more aggressive too,” Garcia says of the new band name.
The band will unveil their more aggressive sonic evolution in early 2013, when they release their new full-length album, Yeah Right, on Kanine Records.
On the album, the band quickly sheds the minimal home-recorded garage pop sound that guided their sophomore album, 2010’s Prism Eyes.
“Prism Eyes was prety much straight up pop music,” Garcia says.
Yeah Right features the band latching on to some of the noise-pop signifiers that lurked on the band’s previous material and blowing them up on maximal waves of growling, heaving guitar bursts.
Garcia says the band wanted a bigger, more experimental sound, while still having them be interesting and catchy.
“We tried to find a balance between them,” he says.
The idea was to push the big, experimental, noisy vibe and atmosphere as far as they could while recording Yeah Right.
Singer Sarah Everton, who also plays bass, floats up through the layers with gorgeous, delicate singing that adds an ethereal dreaminess to the snarled towers of feedback, distortion and volume layered around the vocals.
It’s an mutation of the band’s sound that took most of 2012 to get right, Garcia says.
The band began recording in early 2012 at Minor Street Recordings in Philadelphia, tracking 15 songs total. Once the band looked back on those sessions, they decided that the songs the cut there served mostly as a starting point.
“We had some space away from that and realized it wasn’t what we were looking for,” Garcia says.
They then booked time with Kyle “Slick” Johnson at Fancy Time Studio, taking with them the analog session tapes from Minor Street. Bleeding Rainbow spent a month there re-recording, revamping and revising their songs. The final recordings have parts of both studio recordings on different songs.
“It was actually a long, involved process,” Garcia says.
Part of the studio time including finishing songs that were 80 or 90 percent written, deciding on new parts, new arrangements or adding vocal harmonies. Garcia says he usually likes to add harmonies on in the studio.
“I really like writing vocal harmonies because you can add a whole another dynamic to the song,” Garcia says.
As the band pursued some harsher sonics on Yeah Right, they found the perfect counterpoint as Everton eased into a softer vocal delivery, Garcia says.
Most of the initial writing took place between Garcia and Everton, often with Everton crafting a guitar riff and handing off to Garcia. Guitarist Al Creedon also steps in to construct his lead guitar parts.
Garcia and Everton then write the lyrics, sometimes off by themselves and other times by collaborating together.
The band started in Philadelphia abotu four years ago, starting at house shows and DIY spaces before gaining traction nationally.
Garcia says the band has a few friends they play shows with in Philadelphia, but he feels like he and Everton are doing their own thing in their scene.
“Me and Sarah are in our own world,” he says
Now the band has a few months to wait before unveiling their new sonic world on Kanine Records. Between now and the album’s January release date, the band is releasing three limited edition 7-inch singles, featuring an album coupled with a non-album B-side.
The energetically pummeling and punkish “Pink Ruff” came out first. The second single featured “Drift Away”, a song that conjures up what sounds would result from an imagined Kim Gordon-Kevin Shields collaboration.
Garcia says the band approached the label about doing the singles, as a way of having new material to offer fans while on tour.
That tour will see them sharing the stage with one like-minded contemporary for a few weeks, as they play the main support slot with A Place To Bury Strangers.
They have maintained a friendship with A Place To Bury Strangers’ singer Oliver Ackermann since playing the warehouse show space connected to his guitar pedal company, Death By Audio, a few years ago.
“We’re totally stoked to be on this tour,” Garcia says.
And Garcia says he thinks Bleeding Rainbow is sonically prepared to meet the sheer-force performance of A Place To Bury Strangers, a band so known for exceeding decent decibel levels that they were proclaimed to be New York’s loudest band.
“It’s been coming to a point where we’re already pretty loud,” Garcia promises. “(But) it’s definitely inspiring to be try to match their antics.”
Bleeding Rainbow with A Place To Bury Strangers and Snake Island play the Waiting Room Lounge, 6212 Maple St, Monday, November 12th at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit onepercentproductions.com.