Chainsaw Rainbow- 747

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dominic Massaro has been keeping busy this year, as in addition to the new Jetdog album that came out back in May he also put out multiple solo recordings under the name Chainsaw Rainbow. The first of two that I’ll be writing about is a full length titled 747, which came out back in August and offers seven tracks of sprawling guitar drone. Whereas Jetdog took on a more structured approach with hazier psych rock and shoegaze, Chainsaw Rainbow is more freeform in nature and lets the layers of guitar work spread outwards with a bit more emphasis on noise and volume. At times there are some elements that feel a bit too similar to Massaro’s other musical endeavor, but 747 has plenty to offer listeners who want to dive right into its psychedelic waves and fully take everything in.

The approach that Massaro is going for on this album is clear right from the beginning of opener “Pink Haze”, as listeners are immediately thrown into sprawling layers of guitar that have a noisier tonality but still maintain a very warm and inviting feeling. Each of the seven tracks has a similar emphasis on droning, ambient layers that shift away from a more traditional structure and let the ideas flow freely until they have come to an end, but unlike some of the other guitar driven drone and psych albums I’ve come across over the years Chainsaw Rainbow is able to avoid feeling like it’s merely repeating the same elements over and over again. “Pink Haze” sounds like the intro melody to a shoegaze song, only stretched out and transformed into swirling waves that have warm and bright textures to them while “Dog Days” uses that same droning effect to create a much drearier aesthetic. 747 is the type of record that you do have to be in the mood for though, as its slower pace and noisier layers of sound require your full attention to take in and appreciate the nuances, but when everything clicks this is great material to sit back and lose yourself in.

Admittedly there are a few songs where it sounds like the main guitar leads could have been written for Jetdog, and I would like to see Massaro further expand upon some of the ideas presented on 747 and push Chainsaw Rainbow towards its own identity. There are already hints that this solo project is heading off into different territory though, as the title track in particular kicks up the noise level several notches and lets the droning guitar work become as unstructured and free flowing as possible. But even with the similarities between Massaro’s projects that’s certainly not a bad thing and if you enjoyed Jetdog’s spaced out approach to psychedelic rock and shoegaze this is a natural extension that maintains a similar aesthetic and vibe. I’ll be diving into Chainsaw Rainbow’s recently released recording Photorealistic shortly after this review is posted, and am very interested in seeing what direction the project chooses to go in.

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