A band that has a lot of mythical means for some people, when I first heard of them it was when they released the wonderful 'Amplifier Worship'. Here was something that appealed to the noise fan in me, but it was not just meaningless sound, it had a structure behind it. So it was something of a surprise when in later releases they have almost went for proper songs in places. Not that I am being all elitist and hipster stating that only their older work is good, far from it - I love the progression, which I will explore in later blogs I hope. But I wanted to start with this album - 'Pink'. The main reason for this is when I saw them live in Newcastle; the first song they performed on stage was the opening track of this album "Farewell" which is one of my most favourite releases. So how have they held up since 2005, has it improved or has it faded like a youthful fancy.
One thing this album has by the spade loads is energy. It is vibrate and feels like a night club should just appear each time it is played. After the brooding and stylish "Farewell", it jumps straight into the fantastic "Pink" and headlong in the amazing "Woman On The Screen". It does stop there either with the full throttle approach to the ear - "Nothing Special" is nothing sort of bass fuzzy mosh pit tunage which would have the most elderly hip replaced veteran of early wars up and moving along with the rest of the world.
Then the mood goes dark again with the drone/sludge/amplifier worship of "Black Out". When this is on, there is no light, there is no visual, there is only that noise which takes up your whole world. It is heavy and epic in feeling - like most of the album, it is just does not like to do little. When it does go for a smaller sound on "Afterburner", even though it is still rockin', it feels out of places. That said, who could keep their feet so firmly clamped to the distortion peddle like these guys is beyond me. They are just greedy for sound on this record; they are playing as if this was possibly their last ever release and that this is the sound track for the end days. Just before the truly mind blowing 18 minute plus "Just Abandon My-Self" is the short and quite "My Machine" which acts as a breath catcher before the frantic and pulsating noise which follows. The calm before the storm that follows, and by the deity does it not just wreck your mind with a huge dollop of feedback after the high life of the opening 4 or so minutes.
This album should be up there with the 'Volume 4', 'Rated R', 'Black Water Park' and other albums which are regularly given acclaim in the modern rock press. This is a truly amazing piece of work, but because it is released on the "Southern Lord" label, it is has been given the status of 'Cult King'. It is one of their more accessible works which should be placed as a shining example of how rock music should be done, without looking backwards at all. It might not be reinventing the wheel, but it is making it a lot more fun. Place under 'You Need This In Your Life Right Now - I Mean Right Now'.
10 out of ten - This is proof that there is a God
You can purchase from here
You can visit the band's website here
You can listen to the album here on Spotify
Live performance of opening track Farewell