CD Review

Pink Turns Blue – “Phoenix”

By Marcus Pan

PhoenixPink Turns Blue have been moping up Germany for years now. Their latest release, Phoenix, has hung out on the German Alternative Charts (DAC) at position #3 for eight weeks. They had good company up there too, with VNV Nation and New Order chilling on the charts with them.

They've been around the block quite a few times as well, kicking it up at Jubilee Ball, appearances at the Mera Luna and the famous Wave-Gotic-Treffen. Their songs are spun over quite a few dark dance halls and Pink Turns Blue have shown up on more compilations than I care to count.

Pink Turns Blue are pretty straight forward. If Siouxsie Sioux and Peter Murphy had a third brother, this is what he'd sound like. Pink Turns Blue's Phoenix is gritty, dirty and retains a basement sound that harkens straight back to Bromley. Underground for example is lopingly slow, with hard edged riffwork and about as much clean-up as a crackhouse. It's brilliant for those angsty GAFy types that stomp about dance floors flailing long nailed fingers atop velvet wrapped arms.

They open Phoenix with a very harsh bit of basement grime in the form of The Lost Son, a dirge of feedback laden guitars and almost chant style vocals. Guitars throughout Phoenix are blaring and wailing, just the same as when Peele first uttered the word "gothic" to identify the new bohemian music showing up in his corner. These are provided by Mic Jogwer and Louis Pavlou. Mic's voice is also dark and brooding, and combined with the breathier voice of Brigid Anderson makes for interesting mixes the occasional time it's used, such as during Wanderers. Louis Pavlou also handles drums and keys with Reini Walter on bass and Marcus Giltjes providing "samples & noises" (which, to me, listing this sounds more like a pity fuck, but I won't go there).

We slow it down a bit with The Crusade, windy slides slicing into slowly played drums and strumming guitar. Can Love Survive is one of my favorites, reminiscent of Gene Loves Jezebel, a bit brighter in make-up than most other tracks here. Phoenix closes with the seven and a half minute Feel My Soul. Includes a wailing banshee-like yowl of Mic's that tears through you like nails on a chalkboard. Did not have to be over seven and a half minutes.

The only issue I have with Pink Turns Blue's Phoenix is its resistance to trying something new. It has a very similar taste to the previous release from the group, Re-Union[1], regardless of it being done well. But if old skool GAF is still your thing, it's alive and well in Germany with the links of Pink Turns Blue, just as dark, brooding and depressive as ever.

Contact Information:
Orden Records
Post: Wilhelm-Stolze-Str. 25, D-10249, Berlin, Germany
[1] Reviewed in Legends #155.

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