Pinkish Black is a dark band that comes with a dark story. Originally formed under the name The Great Tyrant, the trio back then was focusing on a doom/jazz blend. However, bass guitarist Tommy Atkins’ suicide in 2010 put a halt to the production of the band’s first album. The two remaining members, Jon Teague and Daron Beck, decided to carry on, changing the band’s name to Pinkish Black and finding their own unorthodox approach to heavy music. The synth-based music of Pinkish Black features an open minded mentality, fusing together elements of doom, industrial music, no-wave and post-punk, and creating a very unique offering in the process.
The vibe of the opening track, “Brown Rainbow,” certainly has something of the cold, unfriendly approach of industrial music. Even though the setting is not as detached and mechanical, the overall rhythm and the patterns that the song follows have an interesting dosage of industrial bleakness. Even though this aspect appears throughout Bottom of the Morning, the music here is too overwhelmed by the more melancholic side of Pinkish Black to really let the industrial self go full-blown. Still, there are instances, such as “Special Dark,” which feature a more brutal outbreak of the industrial side of the band.
On the other hand, when it comes to getting a darker vibe from their music, Pinkish Black do not hold back anything. The rage of “Special Dark” gives way to a dark wave mantle, which the band seems very comfortable taking on. The more gothic element comes in different forms, and can appear at times with a touch of psychedelia to it, as happens with “I’m All Gone.” At other times, though, it can take on a more ethereal manifestation, which comes into view on “Burn My Body,” something that acts as a nice contrast to the more horrific approach that the band seems to be so keen on acquiring.
There are an abundance of horrific elements that Pinkish Black have at their disposal. That becomes clear from the very start of the album, with the almost cheesy-sounding intro to “Brown Rainbow.” But the band does not stop there, and makes use of this majestically eerie mentality, in other instances such as “Burn My Body.” Their volatility is revealed in all its glory on “Everything Must Go” as they suddenly turn the song from trippy to horrific without much effort, while the full extent of their deranged minds is found in the final part of the title track, as the band retreats to its paranoid core.
Label: Relapse Records
It is not just the darker vibe of Bottom of The Morning which dominates the music of Pinkish Black. The psychedelic element is equally important in establishing the mood of this album. The hazy effects of the opening track reveal the deep connection to psychedelia, with the delirium of “Special Dark” revealing a very trippy side of Pinkish Black, which is further expanded in “I’m All Gone” widening the vision of the band. In a more melancholic manner they unfold “Everything Must Go,” while in an impressive way they are able to construct a desert-like scenery for the beginning of the title track, verging on the boundaries of a dreamlike ambiance.
The psychedelic quality of Pinkish Black ties in perfectly with the more post-punk tendencies found within their music. That influence is apparent throughout the album, with the vocal delivery in songs such as “Brown Rainbow” signalling towards post-punk, as well as the heavy, sinister bass lines in “Everything Must Go” showing an even more old-school mentality from the band.
Bottom of The Morning is filled with all these elements, making the sonic palette of Pinkish Black extensive. Brutal outbreaks are still found within the band’s music, as is the case with the fuzzy distorted parts of the title track, and the more doom-oriented “The Master Is Away,” giving an additional perspective to the band’s vision. No matter the mode(s) that Pinkish Black find themselves lost in, they are able to make the most out of it. Bottom of The Morning is an album filled with the darker elements of extreme music, orchestrated to perfection by this fantastic duo.