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Artist of the Month
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June 2016
Pinkwash
"Collective Sigh
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mp3
Solemn resonance slides the door open to “No Real Witness,” the opening track from Pinkwash’s debut album, Collective Sigh. The much-anticipated LP from the prog-punk combination of Joey Doubek and Ashley Arnwine is available via Don Giovanni Records, and takes little time to develop its emotively-charged release, as the unrelenting battering of percussion unites with those eerie key/synth tones, uncorking the aggression. And with a surge, “Metastatic” jumps out with a sense of controlled high-speed rhythm. The guitar riff and percussion weave in a tightly bound flow, giving way in moments to Doubek’s soaring, lingering vocal outcry. The deep stemming personal feel and weight of his lyrics are thrust forward as the instruments smash ahead.
 
The instantaneous groove of “Gumdrop” surrounds you in a steady power-exuding bounce. The kinetic energy is infectious as that locked-in guitar pattern and pummeling snap of percussion mesmerizes, and Doubek delivers a set of serious-toned yet matter-of-factly-delivered lines: “Feeling of going down, shot to the ground, you’ll have to put me down”. Keys slice through that hypnotic attack like a bright, omen-echoing light.
 
The album takes a moment to breathe as “inhale, exhale” is methodically repeated in “Sigh,” while anticipating the foreboding guitar that emerges gradually from the background, with an upper-cutting sledgehammer of sludgy instrumentation. “Walk Forward With My Eyes Closed” - much like the rest of album - appears to hit on the pain and grief of deep and profound loss. That musical push toward coping is surrounded by the encompassing walls of heavy sonics that gather momentum as Doubek musters up strength. “I’ll walk forward with my eyes closed.”
 

With a thunder-smashing yet deeply personal side, Collective Sigh etches its message at the core, transforming the power of grief into a heavy–hitting memorable display of emotion. - Michael Colavita

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The Deli Philly’s April Album of the Month: Dope Boy Magick - PO PO

The Deli Philly’s April Album of the Month: Dope Boy Magick - PO PO

The fuzz is strong with this one.

PO PO’s Dope Boy Magick sounds as if it’s being transmitted through a cloud. The debut full-length of once brother trio-turned-solo project of lone remaining bro Zeb Malik is a collage of outcast-rock past, with influences culled from goth, punk, and even witch house, but as its grungy bass crunch and oodles of reverb blur the borders between styles, the record becomes a sort of “Variations on Alienation for Drum Machine and Distorted Guitar."

I swear this is a good thing. For one, the murky hiss covering each track makes the jumps between creeping electro and squalling garage seamless, not to mention exciting. Malik is an expert appropriator, casually flipping between riff-heavy acid sludge (“Dnt Wnt U, Jst Wnt It All”), raucous surf (“Bummer Summer”), and pristine electro bliss (the phenomenal “Let’s Get Away”), making the record lively and unpredictable, like a mixtape for the counterculture.

It’s also mesmerizing; the reverb on these tracks distorts Malik’s whine to the point where he’s not communicating in words but in a wash of vowel sounds, and the dejection he’s able to convey with a sigh recalls the perpetual disaffection of Bradford Cox. Like Cox, Malik is able to settle comfortably over a noise record’s various faces, flying over Magick’s more interactive first half and becoming another texture on its subtler but-no-less excellent second. He almost disappears in the hypnotic rhythms of the final four tracks, adding the haunting echoes in “Sik Sik Sik” and becoming a droning hook for “POPONGZU.” This section ends the record on a baffling but tantalizing note. These tracks are some of the album’s most realized, and when “Teen Dreamz” slyly slinks away, it feels like a fitting end to such an elusive record.

I say elusive because Dope Boy Magick keeps its audience at a distance. There’s a tangible apathy here. On “Dnt Wnt U, Jst, Wnt It All,” Malik sings, “I fuckin’ love you,” but he doesn’t sound like he’s going to do anything about it. He’s not interested in action. His record’s bare-bones, catch-all ethos encourages thoughtful, meditative listening, and all that haze he provides seems to lend itself to smoky, dimly lit rooms where everyone’s on too many substances to do anything but gaze blankly and bop along. My advice? “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” You can purchase Dope Boy Magick via Mad Decent. - Adam Downer

PO PO - "Teen Dreamz / Let's Get Away" from stereogum

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