by Chris Hatch
RGB finds Manchester-based, Granfalloon, in a seemingly post-apocalyptic mood. The mix of fraught, glitchy synths, and laptop-created drum loops create a suitably dystopian backdrop for lyrics that warn us of tall, raging fires, and describe house-demolishing hurricanes. While flashes of organic percussion, and natural-sounding acoustic guitars, help warm things up a little and add some light to the shade.
For fans of Granfalloon, the folktronica core of the album will be met with a welcome familiarity – but it’s the moments when RGB steers off course that yield the most interesting results. See, for example, The Elephant – its falsetto backing vocals, slow, seductive groove, and alluringly, addictive melody put it somewhere in the realms of modern-day Arctic Monkeys, while the pulsing, buoyant, openness of Ambulance makes for a welcome change of pace.
There are splashes of ingenuity and moments of brilliance throughout the record – none more so than the dreamy mysticism of the Natalie McCool-backed Objects of Love – but it does feel like the album is missing a centrepiece; that one track to elevate the whole thing and really linger on in the mind.
Having said that, RGB will find more fans than detractors. Walking the line between the internal paranoia of post-Kid A Radiohead, the jitteriness of alt-J, and the lighthearted weirdness of oddballs, John Grant and Steve Mason, Granfalloon has struck a neat balance both musically and lyrically. The results are a record that simmers away with an end-of-the-world inevitability.
Secret Meeting score: 74