The Living Rainbow Tape

7th September 2022

Michael's Pick

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Format Info

Limited to 50.
You just have to love this. Tapes are the best medium to capture that immediacy of ideas, the sound of some practitioner with some tatty equipment and a head full of notions to smash down into the Ferric. We heard this as a Bandcamp recommendation and just had to get in touch to share it with the heads who know. The Living Rainbow is the solo project of a young guy from London, we think, called Tom Bryant who’s own INformatiON! imprint has printed and duplicated copies of “Tape.” This stuff is what we live for really, let’s be real. Television Personalities-inclinations, weeping sad chords played on guitars wringing with reverb and chorus, cheap keyboard beats and pads and Bryant himself sounding lost and with the weight of the world bearing down on him, all depressed and down-beat London accented and moody. Damn just hook us up to this stuff with an IV drip.
Another touchstone we keep coming back to listening to The Living Rainbow are legendary one-tape wonder Solid Space. While that group of teen Dr. Who obsessives had their sights set on outer space and the otherwordly, Bryant’s Living Rainbow employs similar tonalities to sing about everyday realities untouchable. There’s so many ideas on this little tape gloriously hindered by the lo fi as beautiful hell recording scenario. For those of us who’ve happily never given up our Goth leanings there’s some wistfully sad melodies and guitar work that recall Robert Smith, making us wonder what it would have been like if Dan Tracey had made a record with The Cure in a mouldy basement in like, 2 inspired hours. Indeed, much of The Living Rainbow’s tape has the feel of someone getting hit by an idea, a riff, a song theme and getting it out there immediately while it’s all so raw. Check out first track Harmony, with its Post-Punk melding of ghostly synth backgrounds and 4/4 beats fighting a chorus-effected guitar for attention. Far Away has that Solid Space beat and haunting melody while the gloriously titled “?” sounds like a Neo Folk recording found on a Messthetics compilation, it’s so brilliantly, amateurishly Gothy it feels undeniably like the real deal, instrumental and haunted. But listen to Have A Look, so vulnerable and earnest, shrouded in that crispy patina the natural compression of a tape recorder
gives you. Honestly, there’s probably more truth in this battered wee home recording than hundreds of bands with their recording studios and record company investments. Doesn’t get realer than this, specially with tunes like this buried in the rough of its context.
Love it.