Forgetmenot by Five Pebbles
31 Dec 2021
Picking a name for your project can be hard. You need something that sticks in people's memories but is unique enough for you to stand out. Perhaps something that embodies the style of the sounds you are creating or holds a connection to some aspect of your artistic work. There are no rules in this game though which is why the simplicity of The Beatles worked equally as well as the ambiguous and difficult to spell Lynyrd Skynyrd. It seems nowadays however we can just give a different name to each individual product of our creativity. Are we here to discuss Sputnik, Weatherday or Five Pebbles? You decide...
The answer is Five Pebbles!
Forgetmenot is the noisy new EP from Five Pebbles, a pseudonym of Weatherday which is a pseudonym of Sputnik, a mysterious, unseen Swedish producer. This EP dives headfirst into twenty minutes of synthetic shoegazey noise pop with its opening track 'down softly' which employs fourteen thousands guitars or so to wake the entire nation from its wintery slumber. Similar melodic themes persist throughout keeping the track from descending in to cacophony but it is clear that Sputnik has melted down a copy of Loveless and mainlined it prior to conceiving this piece.
'Cat's tongue' is more adventurous musically and with vocals that, although heavily augmented, just about manage to poke their head above the ocean of noise if only momentarily. 'Kiss' doesn't offer me anything I haven't already been given elsewhere on the EP but does begin with one of the most pleasing melodies. Sadly it feels like four minutes of experimenting with where to take that melody. It's a four minute exercise rather than a song.
'We know the devil' is the first time since the opening track that I feel I'm being given a finished product. It's a slow moving train with a trance like rhythm that has a surprising amount of variation to it's, albeit synthetic, instrumentation. The vocals are much more prominent which isn't saying much but they do play a key role in the tune and move things along through the composition.
The closing track 'förgätmigej' was put to the end for a reason. I think the noise approach has been misunderstood and the drum machine has, as far as I can tell, malfunctioned! The last three quarters of this two minute track lack any obvious purpose and simply drum a steady beat through your skull until you are forced to match the rhythm with your face against a brick wall.
This EP may have been a way for Sputnik to experiment with some news sounds away from what they are doing with Weatherday and I hope it served it's purpose from that personal perspective. There are two tracks here at most that are album worthy but the rest come across as incomplete work in progress. Aside from the opener the rhythm section is naive and underdeveloped. The drums require far more attention to provide much needed structure to the tracks and the layered guitars need to be used more considerately. This is a genre that, when done badly, will only cause migraines and mental breakdowns. When it is done well with thoughtful and educated arrangements it will entrance the listener, keeping them locked time and time again. Five Pebbles is clearly a very early stage project but may have some scattered potential. Please take a listen and let me know what you think.