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Fantasy Rainbow - Bos Taurus (Review)

Fantasy Rainbow, Bos Taurus

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

THEY may hail from Manchester but Fantasy Rainbow have a very alternative indie vibe combined with slacker tendencies that places them among the ranks of The Stroke, Malkmus and acts of that ilk.

No matter how you choose to categorise them, though, they’re a class new act as exemplified by their smart debut LP, Bos Taurus.

Initially conceived as a bedroom recording outfit, Fantasy Rainbow’s departure from obscurity has been rapid thus far. Last year, a newly 18-year-old Oliver Catt recorded four songs with the help of friend Jonathan Coddington in a collaboration that led to a demo, which would subsequently generate a large amount of buzz in the north east music scene.

Over the next nine months, Fantasy Rainbow went on to release three records, the Teens EP, a Healthy Lung, Dirty Lung cassette and the No Hope. Not Ever EP.

They got picked up for airplay by the likes of Xfm and BBC6 Music, sold out their releases and now have a debut album to offer.

Bos Taurus, which was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, mixes old and new Fantasy Rainbow material and has been produced by Ed Spear. It’s pretty darn good.

Highlights, of which there are many, include opening track Soda Scream, which drops not one but two insistent guitar hooks before hitting you with a firecracker of a record.

It’s quickly followed by former single Condominium, which arguably rates as the finest track on the LP by virtue of its indie-esque riffs and twisting melodies (not to mention the effortlessly chorus of “I’m not going, I’m not going, I’m not going over there”).

There’s a touch of the Bowie (circa Heroes) surrounding the guitars of Ear Wax, while the vibe is definitely slacker (complete with laidback, borderline psychedelic vocal harmonies), while Portra is a cute ode to young love that endears itself to listeners by virtue of its innocence and cute hooks and easygoing melodies (not to mention a surprisingly hook-laden final third).

There’s a really hazy moment on the low-key, strung out EZ Coast, which shows that the band can slow things down and come over moody. But for my money, they’re best when keeping things upbeat and brisk, as O, Weirdo quickly proves with some more jangly riffs and a really cool indie vibe (it was a former record of the week). Needless to say, it’s another firm favourite, as is the similarly melodic Or; Comfort (which even carries a They Might Be Giants vocal vibe.

Tooth Ache then rounds things off in disarming fashion with more intricately constructed riffs and a laidback (if pained) vibe.

Put together, Fantasy Rainbow have assembled a really cracking debut LP that more than does justice to the positive word of mouth currently surrounding them. They could well become your new favourite band very quickly and look to have a very bright future ahead of them.

Download picks: Soda Scream, Condominium, Portra, O, Weirdo, Or; Comfort, Tooth Ache

Track listing:

  1. Soda Scream
  2. Condominium
  3. Nothing But
  4. Ear Wax
  5. Portra
  6. Bread Biscuit
  7. EZ Coast
  8. O, Weirdo
  9. Or; Comfort
  10. Golf World
  11. Tooth Ache