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Melbourne’s Flyying Colours have had a whirlwind past few months. In the lead up to the release of their second EP ROYGBIV, they have, strangely enough, seldom been in their home country. The four-piece have been tearing across Europe and the UK, playing sold out shows and showing the rest of the world, once again, that Australia has got some serious chops when it comes to psych-tinged, guitar-focused music.
Perhaps it was a smart move by the band. They could hardly have been as active as they have been if they were in their home country – there just aren’t enough places to play. And while they drip-fed two singles into our eager ears, they simultaneously showed that they are a band that demand attention – attention that we couldn’t give in full. But finally the record is here, and they are home. And yeah, we are paying attention.
Haunted by the ghosts of 90s shoegaze, ROYGBIV is a cacophony of fuzz guitars and dreamy melodies soaring across the sonic spectrum.
ROYGBIV is a glorious dissection of what can be done with fuzz, reverb and meticulously crafted melodies. Taking cue from a slew of 90s bands – My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Slowdive – the quartet are first and foremost as shoegaze band. Moving forward from their self-titled debut however, ROYGBIV is a little less guitar-focused, with sweeter melodies poking through goops of distortion, crowning the EP with a dream-pop halo that radiates warmth.
That’s not to say there isn’t more than enough fuzzy sweetness within the five tracks to satisfy even the most guitar-depraved. On I Don’t Want To Let You Down, the guitars are gorgeous in a crushing, hammering sort of way. Layer upon layer of fuzz and reverb are stacked upon each other so that they create this sort of discordant harmony, dipping and sliding in the background like kids in mud – frolicking in a dirty sort of way.
The melodies are simple and ephemeral throughout ROYGBIV. The twin vocals of Brodie Brummer and Gemma O’Conner are snipped and languid. Never do they lash out in an attempt to grab your attention, but rather they chose to worm their way through the guitars and nestle in your brain. There they will stay, I guarantee it.
Running Late is familiar in a way that forces you listen again and again. It’s that simple sort of pop song that’s so pretty and comforting that it almost becomes a guilty pleasure, and at the end of the day you realise “oh fuck, i’ve listened to that song 20 times today.” But you know you’ll probably do the same again tomorrow.
The EP, although it may seem in parts a brawl of noise, is meticulously crafted. Everything is so harmoniously placed. The guitars are relentless in their ferocity, but they are like a blanket holding everything together. Not Today has this apathetic, Dandy Warhols sort of vibe. Brummer sounds bored out of his wits, mumbling “I just want to be alone / I wish that you would take me home” – the sort of general malaise that encompasses all teenage angst. But it’s held together by this cacophony of fuzz, echo and buried melody, and the all the elements compliment each other perfectly. There is also this wonderful guitar breakdown that isn’t really a solo, more of a pit of snake-like guitars, snapping and curling around each other.
Leeks continues this melancholy vibe with its guttural bass guitar and searing lead melodies. Only for a second does Brummer’s voice reach those upper octaves, but its a mere shout before he once again falls in the sanguine depths that O’Conner’s dwells in.
Slowdive poke their heads above the rest when it comes to major influences for Flyying Colours. Sometimes it’s easy to mistake the two as the boy/girl vocals meander across cool swells of distortion and gusts of reverb on ROYGBIV. But this doesn’t really matter. When the EP climaxes in a thundering wave of belting drums and manic, ethereal guitars, you know Flyying Colours are in a realm of their own.
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