Reading Rainbow Prism Eyes
Robbie Garcia and Sarah Everton obscured the primitive playground-pop of Reading Rainbow’s early 7-inches and 2009’s full-length debut Mystical Participation with layers of mind-warping fuzz and reverb, making the lo-fi Philadelphia duo sound beguiling and mysterious in spite of its lack of polish. For Prism Eyes, Reading Rainbow’s chops have improved to the point where Garcia and Everton can strip away all that noise and let the brightness of their precocious hooks and resplendent harmonies ring forth with crystal clarity. “Wasting Time” cuts deep from the moment Garcia’s slashing guitar meets Everton’s simple yet swinging stand-up drumbeat, but their big, brassy, echo-laden vocals are what really connect Prism Eyes to the heart of classic American pop-rock like The Mamas & The Papas and Jonathan Richman, who deserves a hat-tip for the sweet “Let’s Dream Tonight.” Garcia and Everton get surprisingly good mileage out of limited instrumentation, and when they switch things up ever so slightly (like adding a hypnotic organ to the psych-rock love lament “Always On My Mind”), it sounds positively exotic. But the simple, heart-tugging beauty of Reading Rainbow’s songwriting is what makes Prism Eyes a warm (and surprisingly discernable) stunner.