Have you ever wondered what it would be like if David Bowie and the members of Joy Division were to have an experimental electronic gothic rock lovechild? No need to search further! The Texan duo Pinkish Black are here to satisfy that very need. Returning with their third full-length album Bottom of the Morning, released through Relapse Records, Pinkish Black combine drums and synthesizers to develop mystifying out of this world soundscapes.
Pairing Jon Teague on drums and synths with Daron Beck on vocals and keyboards, Bottom of the Morning dishes out seven tracks of space rock-influenced waves of distortion. Opening with “Brown Rainbow” the progression of chords from a mimic electronic organ transports listeners through a time warp back to the science fiction era of the seventies and eighties. A whole new level is reached as the dirgelike vocals enter in, carrying the melody into a realm of psychedelic goth wonder.
The driving forces of the vigorous percussion beat and a hypnotizing bass line propel “Special Dark” to the front-running position for the best track of album. The eerie flow of the dark arrangement finds harmony with the distorted lyrical moan, punctuated with a cascade of synthesizer bleeps.
The brooding minor second interval trill at the start of “Everything Must Go” brings back memories of the classic Jaws shark theme. Yet a break from the minimalist approach makes way for fuzzed out shreds of psychedelic scramblings. The album’s titular track sends out a calming jazz vibe close to Pinkish Black’s roots before crackling back into the band’s unique style. The fusion of wild synth flares is grounded by Teague’s drum work, and given new life again as Beck slows things down adding in a soft tranquil humming of keys.
A more amped up continuation of the material set forth in the 2013 release Razed to the Ground, at this point Pinkish Black are merely perfecting their skill set with Bottom of the Morning. Released on the same day as the previously unheard The Trouble With Being Born, from the group’s predecessor band The Great Tyrant, the progress that the duo have from their early work would have made former band-mate Tommy Atkins proud.