I remember when they were Reading Rainbow, and I got a copy of Prism Eyes because I asked nicely. They are, esentially, the same band, but now they’re Bleeding Rainbow, and they’re four people instead of two. At the core is the married couple, Rob Garcia and Sarah Everton, Richmond transplants and current Philadelphians.
They started together in a band called Forensic Teens, which was far screamier than the current Bleeding Rainbow iteration. Everton ended up picking up drumsticks and beating time one night when their drummer bailed on a gig. It took. She started performing on a stripped-down kit, a snare and a floor tom, mostly to keep time. Garcia’s fuzzy, feedback-heavy guitars filled out the sound while they both sang over the top of their loud, My Bloody Valentine-y harmonies. But something shifted. They kept getting dumb questions from journalists about PBS and Levar Burton. Plus Carrie Brownstein, Portlandia and Sleater-Kinney superstar of the indie world, didn’t really like the name either. So they ditched it.
They picked up another guitarist—Al Creedon—and Everton let Greg Frantz man an undertsandably fuller kit, but it didn’t really alter their mission or vibe. They’ve always lead a pack of lo-fi punk-flavored wall of sound revivalists: Wavves, DIIV, Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing and Young Prisms included. Every once in a while, they quietly slide into fits of pretty rock, in which their sound cleans up a bit and strides toward conventional indie rock riffs and grooves. With Everton’s deadpan delivery and the band’s simple rhythms, one might even hear flecks of Metric, Cults or even, Best Coast. But the beauty’s in the madness with Bleeding Rainbow. Sometimes they sound downright chaotic, which is part of the fun. Because really, when indie rock fans like punk-flavored music, most of the time, they don’t actually like when a band goes all the way punk. It’s scary. So, when a band like Bleeding Rainbow goes right up to the edge, but pulls you back with a clean hook or a soaring chorus, it feels inexplicably good.
Thurs., Feb. 14, 9pm. $10. With Pet Milk + Ghost Light. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684. johnnybrendas.com
PW's Music Issue 2014