Punk and humor fuse together on Rainbow Reservoir's Coco Sleeps Around.
When I was only thirteen, my mom decided that it was time for me to start bleaching my mustache. My household was definitely not supportive of my Frida Kahlo-esque 'stache and matching unibrow. This was right in time for my Bat Mitzvah. I look back now and laugh about how nervous I was to fit in, bleaching a few hairs above my lip and deciding what color eye shadow I was going to wear that day: light purple, silver, or nude. The awkwardness of these tween years is very much highlighted on the recent album by Rainbow Reservoir, especially in the band's first track. “Kate Moss With A Mustache” brings a humorous start to Coco Sleeps Around. The song playfully repeats the phrase, “You look like Kate Moss with a mustache.” I don’t know if this was meant to be an insult or a lighthearted joke, but if someone told me that I looked like a supermodel with facial hair, I would be so honored. The album begins with a refreshingly lighthearted ambiance. In “City Bike/Factor of 10,” vocalist Angela Space sings, “We could build a world with all of the songs we’ve heard / And it would be a beautiful reality.” The song brings to mind climbing a tree or drawing a picture with a box of melting crayons that have been sitting out in the sun all day, wax oozing out with every stroke on the piece of paper. Their music re-instills the creativity and enthusiasm that many children have when looking at the world, one that oftentimes disappears with age.
The tone of the album, however, changes a bit in the titular “Coco Sleeps Around.” The lyrics of "Coco sleeps around / she’ll never settle down.” are reminiscent of high schoolers talking about crushes at the lunch table, when there is nothing more important than this topic. Despite the youthful feeling coursing through Coco, there's something inherently punk about Rainbow Reservoir's music. They use the LP to take the listener through various phases of life. While the first two songs feel youthful and energetic, the last song’s lyrics juxtapose the romanticism of the first two — the love for creation and the energy to do so has gone away. Coco is never static, each song moves within itself while adding to the larger shifting narrative of the album. Even though the first line of the album is, “Doug’s cock and balls were doodled in the walls of the library ladies’ room,” the last ones are “Yes! / Soon we’ll all be dead.” The shift from doodling to death highlights Rainbow Reservoir’s ability to start with one section of a narrative and end with another. Perhaps it's also a reminder that even though these sudden changes are terrifying, one can at least approach them with a sense of humor too.
Listen to Rainbow Reservoir on bandcamp.
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Amelia Eskenazi is a feminist and gender studies and art student at Colorado College. In their free time, they enjoy collaging boxes, dying their hair at 2 am, and eating freeze pops in the shower. Their political pondering and rants can be found on Twitter and their photographic outbursts can be found on Instagram at photobscura_ and a_eskenazi.