Flyying Colours - You Never Know (Club AC30/Poison City Records)

Flyying Colours – You Never Know (Club AC30/Poison City Records)

From being immersed in the scene that was Shoegazing in the 1990s, I felt well-placed to critique the latest offering by these shoegazers from down under when it was offered. One point to note though is that we should not confuse them with American super-group Flying Colors, a band responsible for performing progressive rock, not that you would ever confuse prog-rock, with that of shoegazing, so let’s go.

Haven’t we heard this play out before? Okay, so Brooklyn’s Diiv do it well, but in 2023 is there any place for another band reliving what was 30 years ago? Pressing play on the 3rd album by Flyying Colours and this question was soon answered: of course there is! This band fly like any of those bands I saw between 1989 and 1993, with ethereal voices performing in the space between my ears. I am reliving 1992 as I am washing the pots, memories of the meal just 10 minutes before soon replaced as I watch the spiral of suds make their way down the plughole. My mind is soon creating the visuals for these sounds being played. To say this is wonderful is an understatement and I’ve only been doing the dishes, perhaps I should have these guys in my ears every time I am tasked with what might be considered a chore, just don’t tell the wife.

Around the time their first full-length album was being mooted, they were already being sounded as “…one of the best contemporary shoegaze-inspired bands in Australia.”. My relationship with them may only have been brief, but I love their sound and hear just why they had achieved this accolade. It had already been said of them, that they were “…inspired by the loud, heavy guitars of shoegaze groups like Ride and the sweet melodies of dream pop artists like Slowdive…”, that I’m sure will find a willing fanbase across the generations, ready and willing to drink in their sounds. This new album You Never Know sees 10 new tracks, which evoke those days of My Bloody Valentine and any number of groups performing during these early days in the 90s. I hear the timbre of Lush and the musical influence of groups such as Swervedriver and Adorable. A candid tone is offered by a line-up consisting Brodie J Brümmer, Gemma O’Connor, Melanie Barbaro and Andy Lloyd-Russell, a combination that provides the perfect weighting to their sound.

I might be expecting MBVs ‘Only Shallow’, when this 3rd full-length affair starts, but this is not a tribute band, as they take off on their own trajectory. Commencing with ‘Lost Than Found’, a number with synthesised tones that soon morph into electric guitar, these are added to by drums and then a sweetness of vocals. These are such, that they might greet you as you meet St. Peter before the gates of Heaven. This was the emotion that just fell into place, although I’m not quite ready to leave this mortal coil. For anyone unsure as to their credentials, this band formed in 2011 and worked hard to hone their sound, which, although inspired by those sounds of 30 years ago, is now entirely their own. Continuing through the mournful tones of ‘Long Distance’, during which we hear a solid backdrop of guitars, these form the sky, under which is a pulsating undercurrent of drums. This number stakes its claim as the vocals are heard, singing “I’m awake, I’m asleep, this was easier in my dreams…”, perhaps signalling the difficulty many might find just waking up at times, certainly when coming from the deep womb of a warm quilt. The verse continues, aided by those hypnotic notes, then into a sea of guitars played on a calm day. This peace then descends into a raucous bed of guitar and beats as ‘I Live In A Small Town’ heads over the horizon. The perfect combination of male/female vocals can be heard singing “…I live in a small town and I’m making plans;” I lose my transcription as the vocalists reduce their volume. Whatever is being sung, this comes across as an uplifting tale. I remember back in the day, we would sing not necessarily all the wrong words to songs by the likes of Moose or Chapterhouse and get away with it. It really didn’t matter the words we were singing, we just enjoyed being there. All smiles and long hair, as we watched our shoes, these were good times.

As the album continues to play through ‘Do You Feel The Same’, the reply undoubtedly comes – “yes!”, then onto ‘Oh’, with its barrage of distorted guitars and sequencers. This is like reliving my teenage days (almost) and onto ‘Bright Lights’ through the second half of this album. This is all smiles and at 1’40”, with the tone dropping, I’m led to draw comparisons with the key change on MBV’s ’Soon’, if only briefly, until this is lifted with a light, breezy air being reintroduced. I have no problem with this, music that takes influence from one of the greatest albums ever recorded, is all good in my book. We ‘Hit the Road’, then they ask to say ‘Goodbye to Music’, well, perhaps not, but I guess this might be told in a tongue-in-cheek manner. This I can live with, but for many of us music is like taking that first waking breath, it’s necessary. Then aptly onto ‘Modern Dreams’, during which the most delicious bassline rumbles on. As I close my eyes the words fit so well, “…Modern dreams never bring me down, taking my chances I can work it all out. My head’s on straight, my head’s in the clouds…”. I love the imagery that this song presents and like a stereotypical shoegazer, I might be reciting the words correctly, but it really doesn’t matter because it’s how I’m interpreting them. ‘Never Forget’ rounds off this latest affair from these antipodean musicians; in a story that closes this chapter they sing, “…and now I say good-bye…”, but I have no doubt that this won’t be the last I hear from them and, like Loveless, I know that this will be on my playlist for as long as I care to breathe, having made firm friends. Our Albums Editor will ask me whether this is an album I would place among my all-time greatest albums (as he always does if I try to get a ’10’ rating through). Well, suffice to say that this will sit alongside MBVs Loveless, a genre-bending affair, this too continues the tale I thought had long since gone. Turned up to 11, with their “…head’s in the clouds…”, I couldn’t be happier.

You Never Know is out now on Club AC30 / Poison City Records.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.