Waves Of The New (The John Colby Sect)
Despite a sombre gestation, Costa Rica’s flower punk trio impress on third album
The San José based noise pop trio consists of drummer Fabrizio Durán, guitarist and vocalist Mercedes Oller, and bassist and vocalist Sonya Carmona. This record was recorded, produced and mixed by Jon Greene (Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles, Best Coast) early last year - who then passed away unexpectedly last November.
I’m not sure if this is his final work, but if so can be rightly proud of his achievement. His production is second to none, allowing the melodic subtleties of the songs to shine bright against their residual wall of noise. The indie/garage/slacker pop here is often reminiscent of mid-period BJM or even Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, which on it’s own would put many people off, but every so often their love of classic psychedelia (notably The Seeds) can be heard, and this tension works to the record’s advantage. Lead single ‘Not Enough’ (watch below) illustrates this, it’s slinky chuggin’ riffs being just the right side of hypnotic to warrant repeated plays. ‘Golden Visions’ is, similarly, the sound of a ‘68-vintage, acid-altered garage band taking things to the next level.
There’s plenty more pop archive-raiding elsewhere too. ‘Dream’ divebombs back and forth between two time signatures, recreating some classic My Bloody Valentine dream-pop vibes that make sweaty summer nights that little bit more special. ‘Flower Child’ brings the proper old-school indie noise to the playground, proudly displaying its Jesus & Mary Chain badge (and with the new Sonic Youth LP tucked under its arm). The title track meanwhile, with its ferocious intensity, is good enough to fit on any The Pains of Being Pure at Heart album. I should also mention C86 somewhere too, shouldn’t I? ‘Sun Haze’ is a pure dose of that sound, and just glorious in every way.
If you’re a fan of the bands mentioned in this post then definitely spend some time and money on Waves: there’s plenty to enjoy here. And let’s not forget: a bittersweet triumph is still a triumph.
Waves Of The New is out now on vinyl via John Colby Sect (Spain) and Buen Dia Records (Mexico), plus all download and streaming sites
BY PHIL ISTINE
A blog to pontificate upon music both new and old: mostly reviews, some news, interviews, thought pieces, and exclusive content.