Remember, "Death does not exissssssssst"...
RAINBOW RESERVOIR – CHANNEL HANNA (Odd Box Records)
Rainbow Reservoir might be an actual place, in Connecticut, but it really sounds like some My Little Pony SodaStream knock off. That’s fitting, because this album, whilst ostensibly punk, is embellished with the hairclips and dimpled grins of vintage twee pop, and for every buzzsaw guitar rasp and declamatory shout of norm-slapping individuality, there’s toyshop chintziness and cutesy melody. It could be the soundtrack to the advert for Riot Grrrl’s World. Despite a dip too far into cloying infantilism on “Blue Crab” and “Big Bunny”, which sound like a six year old making up songs in the night to stave off a fear of the dark, Channel Hanna is an exciting, energising record, and one that refreshingly doesn’t mistake unilateral hatred for pointed criticism.
Whilst The Pistols bluntly stated the Queen “ain’t no human being”, Rainbow Reservoir’s “Brenda” is a little more kind, observing that whilst ER might be very nice, she’s kind of pointless. No hard feelings, but how about the dissolution of the monarchy, ma’am? Similarly, “Podium Girls” resembles Voodoo Queens’ “Supermodel Superficial”, but lets the glossy airheads down gently. As balance, “Gold Star Girl”, in addition to boasting lovely, lilting bass, notes that not every pretty high-achiever is a conservative cis-bitch. As well as this live favourite, the album’s highpoints are the clattering, Monks-influenced “Drunk Maria”, “Fuzzy” a fountain of pop glory with a great atonal unsolo stuck in the middle, “Rainbows Don’t End”, a budget torch song that sounds like Princess Peach having a go at “The Impossible Dream”, and the title track, replete with a funky Grange Hill synth line which is more Le Tigre than Bikini Kill. With the release of this album, we raise a glass to Rainbow Reservoir: make ours a double-strength Fluttershy daiquiri, cheers.