Reviews Pinkish Black Razed To The Ground

Pinkish Black

Razed To The Ground

Last year's self titled record from Pinkish Black was a distinctly (un)pleasant surprise from a duo that have been making music together for a substantial length of time. Pinkish Black took the critical world by storm with their debut and the record was, quite rightly, considered a breath of fresh air within the darker confines of the musical spectrum. Pinkish Black was an album of mystery and intrigue and the band threw many of their influences into the mix as well as imbuing the whole ordeal with a hue of hazy dirt. Razed to the Ground continues in that vein but pushes the band further into their own minds, rather than that of their peers. 

"She Left Him Red" rumbles into view on disturbing drum beats and swaying electronic pulses which dip in and out of sight before the track kicks into life and the sinister loops wrangle with Daron Beck's clouded voice for control. It's almost like a horror film soundtrack in tone, with sickening edges of sound cloying the mind and Beck's vocal approach fighting to come up over the abyss and into view - it never does though, and the frustration you feel is real and torturous and you're almost glad when "Ashtray Eyes" allows his voice to breathe over solid drum lines (Jon Teague) and echoing synth. Of course, it's never quite loud enough but the beauty of Pinkish Black lies within their abstract and total darkness (remember that their band name has become a cult legend in its own right). 

The title track rolls in hazy, electronic fuzzes of "bass" that shift and give structure to the tripped out, spacey blips that occasionally push through Beck's voice commands and the utter gloom that is cast by the band using only minimal instrumentation is genuinely frightening and wholly interesting. It never fails to amaze that such sounds are created by only two people and the level of inventiveness in bands such as Pinkish Black and also the wonderful Wreck & Reference is almost terrifying. 

Unfortunately, "Bad Dreamer" undoes a fair amount of the good work the Pinkish Black have put in so far. The extended piano-like introduction seems a tad unnecessary considering the progression of the record and the inclusion of a confusing silence makes you wonder if the song has stopped for no good reason. It's slightly off-putting and not in the good way that the band have managed to do before. Luckily, the rest of the track is a downcast, rain-sodden, miserable ride into the pitch of night and everything seems right with the world again. If, y'know, being outrageously despondent is your thing. 

"Loss of Feeling of Loss" ends Razed to the Ground on shades of utter hopelessness and it's almost as though Pinkish Black are testing just how bloody sad they can make their music. 

"Hey, it's not sad enough, let's make people feel like they need to tear their hearts out?" 
"Sounds great!"*

This final song is affecting and moving and will likely make you want to throw yourself out of a window by the time its done (stick around though because it's not quite over when you think it is, although it probably should have been over when you want to think it is). It holds within it a soothing tone that belies the complete agony that writhes through it with a malicious intent giving Razed to the Ground a steady feeling of pressure and intensity. 

Pinkish Black have a lot to offer and their major label debut will open many a door for them, make sure you're there to greet them. 

*This exchange may not have actually happened.

8.0 / 10Cheryl
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