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Posted on March 12th, 2010 (5:45 pm) by Bo Smothers

It’s been said that nobody looks bad in the nighttime, but after listening to A Sunny Day In Glasgow’s newest EP, Nitetime Rainbows, I’m sorry to say that whichever unnamed aphorist coined the phrase has been proven very, very wrong. Sadly, despite the Philadelphia based band’s sterling reputation as some of the foremost ambient indie-poppers, forgettable melodies, timid instrumentalism and limp songwriting come together on Nitetime Rainbows to form an almost spectacularly ineffectual EP that’s about as appealing as the last two fish sticks at the bottom of a cafeteria buffet dish. It’s an EP without character, reminiscent of that super-stoner acquaintance that you stopped really listening to after his first of many rants about ‘the Man, man.’

The band’s not all to blame though. Trying to follow up the hour-long odyssey Ashes Grammar is a tricky stunt to pull off. So, they did the most…sensible…thing, and took the musical pencil shavings from their critically lauded album and threw together Nitetime Rainbows. Unfortunately, it didn’t go exactly as planned. Just suitable for background music when you’re hammered, this mousy shoegaze patchwork contains enough substance for a review, but just barely. Truly, even after having listened to it for two days straight, during all the errands, while writing all the papers and while taking all the showers, the listener is stretched to recall a favorite song, or even to distinguish between them.

For instance, although the fuzzy title track “Nitetime Rainbows” is, in classic Sunny Day In Glasgow style, cheery under the unchanging drone patterns and rippling guitar haze, it’s a little too shoegaze. That is to say, while it does exemplify most of the traits hardcore fans of the genre so adore – ambient synth washes, steady, albeit minimal, percussion and the occasional crazily sustained guitar riffs – it does not at any point depart from the baseline. There’s nothing to give it oomph like Ashes Grammar.

Not all is lost though. Despite first appearances, there are in fact small chromakey nuggets of good music hidden within the confusion of the EP, and thank god for it. Unfortunately, most of it is to be found in the remixes, rather than the original work itself, with one notable exception.

The sole redeemer, the unassuming protagonist and the young, unlikely hero, “So Bloody, So Tight” manages to save the EP from damnation as it slowly battles it’s way out of the muck of total mediocrity, carrying it’s comrades all the way. With a clean guitar intro, deft use of polyphony and inventive use of contrasting tonal patterns, “So Bloody, So Tight” is a more fitting title track than the one we are given, and I would urge you as a listener to actually forgo the first three songs and listen to this one first, so as to steel yourself before giving the rest of Nitetime Rainbows a listen.

At the end of the day, Nitetime Rainbows is simply disappointing, no more, no less. It’s a poor offering from a great band, and hopefully by the next album they’ll bounce back and clear away the clouds that have gathered over the formerly sunny Glasgow.

Track List:
1. Nitetime Rainbows (new mix)
2. Daytime Rainbows
3. So Bloody, So Tight
4. Piano Lessons
5. Nitetime Rainbows (Buddy System remix)
6. Nitetime Rainbows (Acid wash edit by Benoit Pioulard)
7. Nitetime Rainbows (Ezekiel Honig remix)

Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

39 / 100
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