CD Review

Pink Turns Blue – “Re-Union”

By Marcus Pan

Re-UnionWhen I received Pink Turns Blue’s demo recently, which included tracks from both of their releases including this one, Re-Union, I thought it was pretty good. In many ways it still might be, but as Re-Union rolls out of Germany we find ourselves completely drowning in a relentless barrage of old-school done-it-already goth rock, misercordian laments that fall right out of the proverbial Book of Known Rants and Poems and take all of this and, like a taffy pulling machine from hell, drag out the length of the songs as long as possible.

Pink Turns Blue includes Mic Jogwer (vocals/guitar), Thomas Elbern (guitar), Brigid Anderson (keyboards) Reini Walter (bass) and Louis Pavlou (drums). Pink Turns Blue has been said to be the “most beautiful new ‘old’ band,” which means it’s a new record that should have come out twenty years ago. They most closely resemble Michael Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel[1] and does so to such a degree that it has me wondering. The overall sound of Re-Union is dated, lethargic and harkens back to music we’ve already put on our “haven’t listened to it in ten years” shelves which we all have. Yet sadly it’s a 2004 release.

Strangely enough, the taffy pulling analogy holds true when we listen to Jogwer’s vocals as well – it’s somewhat English, but it’s garbled and warbly, like during the pulling of what should be two minute tracks into five to eight minute juggernauts he decided to sample some of the taffy and its making it hard to speak well. Your Master is Calling opens Re-Union – and continues to leave it open and drafty for almost eight full minutes. I Coldly Stare Out and Walking On Both Sides remain identical musically to the opener.

Michelle gets interesting though – I’m digging the heavy handed drumming and the keyboards are spooky, blasé but somehow appropriate. S. Day keeps the different rhythm going, straying away from the serial boorishness of the first three. But it suffers from a lot of amateurity in its make-up. Keyboards only add to the childish effect on this one, and Mic’s Jacksonesque yowls are…not quite right. Seven Years is a sufferer of the taffy-pulling contest, actually trying to last that long.

It’s on my listening (last night) of If Two Worlds Kiss that I first thought of the taffy-mouthed analogy to Mic’s vocals. The track is called If Two Worlds Kiss as I said – but he could be saying that or a virtual mix of possibilities during the chorus and it’s different every time; I swear I’ve heard him pronounce that last chorus word as “kiss,” “kill,” “kids,” “gifs” and more. His forced attempts at vibrato, also evident on Moon, come off like someone reached down his throat and loosened his vocal chords with a ratchet set. Catholic Sunday makes a stand against boorishness, but its sheer length once again detracts from its interesting electro-rhythm groove.

The overall effect of listening to Pink Turns Blue’s Re-Union is that nothing has evolved since the late 70s and early 80s. I’m still twelve years old, Bauhaus is still at the Beggar’s Banquet and Siouxsie is still in Hong Kong Garden. We haven’t yet enjoyed the effects of electronics for the most part (even though Brigid plays keys, it doesn’t move much beyond whole-note chords) and the Peele show just came up with a new word – “gothic” – to refer to music. There’s been so much done since then, its time to realize this.

Contact Information:
Orden Records
[1] Michael Aston was interviewed in Legends #99.

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