Fun Fact: Grand Prismatic were one of the first bands I ever downloaded off Triple J Unearthed, along with Them Bruins, Kid Sam and The Hawaiian Islands. Another fun fact is that all of these bands have stood the test of time. Them Bruins Death-Above-like rock is always a shock to the cock, Kid Sam’s ‘Down to the Cemetary’ will never get old, and The Hawaiian Islands do The Smith Street Band better than they do, and with a tropical twist. But how does Grand Prismatic fare? At a time where you really have to stand out as a psychedelic/shoegaze band, when it seems that every kid with a guitar is chucking on a tremolo arm, and feeding his guitar through at least 10 guitars, where do Grand Prismatic stand in the realm of things?
Squarely in the realm of awesome, that’s fucking where! On their new-ish EP ‘Footscray & Fancy Free’, Grand Prismatic are both careening off into the distance like a hobo on payday, and doing majestic things that makes Kate Middleton look like a shit-smeared acid freak.
The EP starts out with ‘God Feeling’, a track that starts off small and fiddling, like a goblin with a coke habit. Then these weird chants introduce themselves over the already hypnotic chord progressions. The song swells and swells, until it’s a looming, angelic figure, plucking its harp (which in this case is an oozing guitar/keyboard combo that are bouncing off each other) and drilling you into a quaint slumber.
After this holy introduction, Grand Prismatic move into something a little more traditional with the frolicking title track. It dances and ditzes along, a little bit Neutral Milk Hotel, if Jeff Magnum had been committed to an LSD asylum juuuuust beforehand.’Oh My Life’ follows, going down a slow-burnin’ Spiritualized path, but then things speed up again in a ditty form for the somewhat ironically titled ‘She’s Lyin’ to You’. Although the bounce is there, this song seems to be the most well-formed, and in a way, it’s the EP’s standout. It really sticks in the mind. Instead of rolling about in the muck and globbing a big fat blob of expressionism shoegaze in the listener’s mind, the clarity of ‘She’s Lyin’ to You’ allows to listener to groove with the melodies of the track and really get a feel for what the band are expressing. The song has the same unreserved pop-meets-The-Drones elements of what bands like Sagamore are going for. It ends up for a fully realised and thoroughly enjoyable peak to a building EP.
After the EP caps off with the warbling King Gizz-ish reverb soaked ‘Swimmin Thru Sand’, which shows Grand Prismatic in top form, executing a dead-on Scientists kinship, you’re left slightly exhausted and a little buzzed, like you’ve just come down from a rollercoaster high, despite the fact you haven’t budged an inch. It’s a weird swaying of the emotions, but Grand Prismatic have captured the soul of shoegaze and psychedelic, and implemented a pop sensibility that they shouldn’t have been able to get away with, but totally did. In the space of a short few songs, Grand Prismatic accomplished what a million yuppies though Tame Impala did with ‘It Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’. Only with Grand Prismatic, there’s actually a desire to pay attention to what’s going on.
Head here to pick up ‘Foostscray & Fancy Free’ for a coupla dollars: