Menace Beach’s brand of fuzzy slackerpop has always felt like it might break its earthly chains and blast into space, and on 'Black Rainbow Sound' they deliver on that promise.
Alongside the familiar buzzing guitars and laconic vocal lines, the band have beefed up their array of synths and there are some truly eerie alien-sounding effects across the album. When paired with extraterrestrial lyrics as in 'Satellite', the record finds its own space, sounding like the video game arcade music on the first punk cruise to the moon.
Coupled with smart use of film samples, the album displays a confident identity, with dual vocalists Liza Violet and Ryan Needham totally at ease in what started out as a ‘supergroup’ of the Leeds scene but now feels every inch the real deal.
The fuzzed out guitars hit all the right spots, vocal harmonies flit in and out with ease, and behind it all, synths and stylophones whir like the instruments on a Martian spaceship.
If they're going for a (whisper it) concept album they've hit on something, but knowing Menace it's equally likely this is the result of having fun with some new toys and following where the music leads them. Either way, it's their most cohesive and natural record to date, and points to a bright future.