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The Contrast explode into 3D – do not attempt to adjust the picture
The Contrast’s sleek, edgy, chiming guitar pop embraces influences spanning folk, rock & roll, country, surf, psychedelia, 60s pop, jazz, punk and power pop, plus film noir, surrealism and sci-fi, wrapped up into irresistible 3-minute pop songs.
It’s impossible to tie the band to any specific musical genre or movement, although, in view of their flamboyant, raw live shows, garage rock is perhaps the closest fit.
Operating out of Peterborough, a below sea-level (in more ways than one) city in the east midlands of the UK, The Contrast was formed by Glasgow born singer/songwriter/guitarist, David Reid in 1999. From the start, Reid’s plan was a simple one: “to write & perform songs that I love as much as my favorite records, books and movies”.
The band’s name came from the chorus line of Mystery #1, their debut album’s title track – “…turn the contrast down”. Since 2006, the band line-up has featured, alongside David Reid: Richard Mackman (bass/backing vocals), Thorin Dixon (drums) and Kieran Wade (rhythm guitar/backing vocals/keys) – all amazing players and all well able to match Reid’s encyclopedic knowledge of pop history and slightly unhinged sense of the absurd.
In 2002, Little Steven Van Zandt featured ‘Mystery #1’ as ‘Coolest Song in the World’ on his ground-breaking Underground Garage radio show. Steven has continued to champion the band throughout their career and invited them to play at the legendary Underground Garage Festival on Randall’s Island NYC in 2004, one of The Contrast’s ten US festival appearances since 2002. To date, The Contrast has earned more ‘Coolest Songs in the World’ distinctions than any other band played on the Underground Garage show.
The Contrast released five critically acclaimed albums on the New York based Rainbow Quartz label before signing to Little Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records in 2007. Their first album for Wicked Cool, ‘Perfect Disguise’ (2008), was a compilation of the band’s best tracks. The collection also included a new, acoustic version of the title track, co-produced and arranged by Little Steven.
The Contrast’s sixth full-length album ‘God of Malfunction’ sees the band going into ‘wide-screen’ mode with their most creative and ambitious work. The band has always enhanced their core sound on record with vintage keyboards, percussion, and special FX. However, The Contrast is much bolder on the new album, allowing the songs to feature “whatever ‘they’ demanded”. Cello, theremin, mellotron, treated electric piano & Eno-esque ambient textures appear alongside the ebow, classic organs, and grand piano that the band has always used in the studio to augment their core Rickenbacker-heavy live sound.
The Contrast worked closely with executive producer Little Steven on God Of Malfunction. His arrangements and production suggestions were invaluable to the completion of the album. Also collaborating with the band was long time engineer/co-producer, Andy Hawkins and veteran producer/remixer, John Luongo. The result sounds completely and unmistakably like The Contrast, only this time in full 3-D.
‘God of Malfunction’ is out now on Wicked Cool.
The line up since 2006 consists of:- (above photo left to right)
See Discography page