From a conceived bedroom recording outfit, Fantasy Rainbow the one man project of UK teenager Oliver Catt has evolved quite remarkably. From a four track demo consisting of songs recorded with the help of friend Jonathan Coddington, things have just brewed and grown for the youngster. Over nine months from that first release there has been the Teens EP, the Healthy Lung, Dirty Lung cassette, and another EP No Hope. Not Ever, all raising his stock with regular national airplay coming alongside building acclaim. Bos Taurus is the debut full length from Fantasy Rainbow, a release recorded in Nashville at Jack White’s studio. Produced by Ed Spear, the Heist Or Hit Records release offers eleven tracks which all grab attention and respect if rather undulating in achieving lasting satisfaction.
Without doubt Bos Taurus is a release which needs a few full listens before its persuasion begins to prove its case, which ultimately it does though for personal tastes it does not ignite any big sparks of ardour. It is a release with an abrasive air and raw voice but equally engages with warm expressive melodies and evocative passion. Initially the release was an album which was top and tailed with its best songs and felt too similar and thus flat in its middle on the ear, but given time and attention that passage evened out to a more consistent and enterprising passage, though those early stand out songs still remain the most potent and satisfying.
The release opens with Soda Scream and does not take long in pulling in interest and having feet tapping. A teasing guitar opens the song before leading into a platter of further inducements and eventually an energetic blend of jangling guitars, synth whispers, and vocal harmonies. There is a lovely discord to it all which is the best element of the whole album. The song is brief but a great start to ensure a continued focus on the release.
New single Condominium follows with an undemanding but quite infectious presence, the lyrics and vocals of Catt emotive in their individual ways within at first a gentle stroke shifting to a more distorted rub. You cannot say the song or others provoke deep thoughts or massive reactions but it easily makes its three minutes captivating and enjoyable.
The likes of the fuzzy and coarse Nothing But, the sonic whispering Portra, and the unrefined experience Bread Biscuit leave one in a flux of delight but at times being unsure. The first two and another in between are strong but too similar to grab headlines whilst the latter is a track which feels out of place yet offers a needed balance to the warmer climes elsewhere, its harsh tones and scorched breath certainly a challenge.
As the home stretch beckons the album moves back into the melodic pop jangles which opened it, the excellent pair of O, Weirdo and Or; Comfort delivering simple sharp pop which is distinct in its squeezed melodies and stretched invention. Both songs are well crafted and full of intrigue as are the closing pair of Golf World and Tooth Ache, the first of the two one of the bigger highlights of the album. Again you can say there is a similarity across the final clutch of songs which only close focus reveals is not quite the fact but all are enjoyable and make for pleasing companions.
Bos Taurus is an album which leaves one content in its company if not hankering for its immediate return as much as with other releases. Fantasy Rainbow is still a project in evolution and one would not be surprised if a classic is unveiled in the future, in fact you almost expect it to happen at some point.
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