We all know a band who puts a new moustache on the same song for an entire album, or even their entire career (looking at you, Breaking Benjamin). “Rainbow Donuts” by We Is Shore Dedicated, is absolutely not one of these kinds of albums. I’m not entirely sure if this work is just a great example of the struggles of experimentalism in music, the result of an avante garde approach towards song writing, or the product of several writers contributing to the album without consulting each other first, but I love it. How exactly all these songs fit together into an aesthetic that spans the album, I couldn’t tell you- but it does. While this album sounds like something my conservative grandmother would dismiss as “trash,” there’s stylistic gold buried in each song. The album opens with “Ne Ve Ru” which I imagine taking place in some coffee shop in the 30’s, with a crawling upright bass line and a seriously creepy but beautiful piano intro that launches right into a short vocal reminiscent of old show tunes.
If that doesn’t sound like your bag of tricks, don’t worry, it’s over in a mere 84 seconds. That drops you right into a song that, for whatever reason, makes me think of Iggy Pop and David Bowie pulling a fabulous overhaul of “Sultans of Swing,” with periodic splashes of harder rock riffs, and the most stylistic changes of the whole album. Overall, I really can’t help but be reminded of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust days at random intervals throughout the entire album. It’s something about the hint of vibrato and the slight edge of his voice in it’s upper range. Moving on to “Hale Ze”, which I’ve listened to more than any other song on the album- I’m torn between not really caring for the vocal chorus and being uncomfortably in love with the almost spoken verses, the weird crawling tango and the climactic gypsy punk flavored ending. From there the band dunks you into a lazy folkish tune. Like every other song on this album, somewhere between the beginning and the end, the song takes an unexpected stylistic turn or two. Gladiator Coin Toss comes off more like a story than a song, which is deceptively difficult to pull off without using lyrics that are either smushed or make no sense- but they pull it off brilliantly. The last two songs are my least favorite of the album, if only because they are so similar to each other (by this band’s standards) that they may as well have been the same song. Neither is particularly bad, with their folk and blues flavors rounding out the album quite well, but neither one demonstrates the characteristic stylistic changes that quickly piqued my interest in this kind of odd, but awesomely unique band. Looking forward to hearing “Marty,” which according to their Facebook page is in progress as we speak. Stay cool guys 🙂