Lead single “Laura” is a gem of a pop song: clocking in at a scant two minutes and forty-one seconds, the track only lingers long enough to make an impression. A propulsive drumbeat, hypnotic guitar melody, and lush synthesizer set the backdrop for Shusterich to craft yet another earwarm melody, in which she finds new ways to stretch out the name “Laura.”
Pinkshinyultrablast make no secret of their influences: the band’s very name is taken from an album by Astrobrite, one of the many projects by shoegaze guitar god Scott Cortez (Loveliescrushing, STAR). Cortez’s love of multilayered guitar textures is present and accounted for in the gloriously loud sound of Pinkshinyultrablast. Despite hailing from the unlikely birthplace of St. Petersburg, Russia, the band prove that shoegaze is a universal language with their new single, “Kiddy Pool Dreams.”
If The Raveonettes swapped their Jesus & Mary Chain records for the entire Depeche Mode catalog, the result might be something like “Heartbeat,” the second track on Pale Reflections and arguably its most accessible. Airy synthesizers and a slinky bass-line set the stage for the chorus to break out in a danceable electronic beat as vocalist Victoria Cecilia, backed by a layer of washed out guitars, declares, “I got a beating heart/I got a beating heart for you, girl.”
Unlike some noise pop acts who think turning the volume knob all the way up is enough to compensate for any songwriting deficiencies, Westkust possess a keen melodic sensibility, not to mention a romantic yearning that aligns them with Buzz Buzz Buzz era The Primitives. With their penchant for plaintive lyrics and jagged guitar noise,Westkust are the rare act that should unite both fans of vintage shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine as well as anyone who still cherishes their C86 cassette.