Pink Turns Blue - Ghost
As might be expected for a band which made its debut in the eighties, their sound is very much of that era. This is Goth rock, perhaps leaning slightly more towards post-punk. However, one should not view the band as being stuck in a timewarp for though they draw their inspiration from the eighties, they have very much updated the sound. The result is, overall, impressive, and is worth comparing with some of the post-punk revivalists who have emerged in the present decade. Listening to this you get an understanding of how post-punk/Goth sounds if there is a continuity. The Chameleons' Why Call It Anything? came close, but this manages what that album tried, but ultimately failed to do - provide a modern sound to the genre without coming across as either stale or derivative. In that sense, this album knocks spots off anything Interpol have done, let alone Editors.
The album is dominated by bass heavy songs with two rhythm guitars careering along at a high pitch. The drumming is consistent if not spectacular. If there is a criticism it is to be found in the vocals. When I first heard this I was sure I had heard it - or at least the vocalist - before. Of course, I had not, but therein lies part of the problem. Vocalist Mic Jogwer does not have a distinctive enough voice to give a unique signature to the songs. Good though the music is, you always get the impression that you have heard it before, even though you know you haven't. Another problem is that occasionally the pronunciation becomes irritating. Now I know the band are German but they sing in English and while, for the most part, this is not a problem, when it is it becomes an irritant. Just occasionally a more Teutonic pronunciation slips through, making the words indistinct and hard to follow. Still, a minor gripe.
For the most part, the songs are what one would expect from Goths. The music and lyrics are often dark and brooding with the occasional hint of latent sensuality beneath the exterior. "Can't Be Love" is an excellent opening track and probably the best on the album. Guitars and bass vie for space in a full-blooded up-tempo melody while the refrain is catchy and strong. "Walk Away" almost reaches the same heights, but the guitar is too high pitched at times, although the lyrics, with their sarcasm and wittiness, impress more than on any other track. There are a number of slower paced tracks as well. "Last Day on Earth" and "If Love Could Change" being the best of that particular bunch. "True Love (After All)" is another of the stand out tracks, reminiscent of some of the early Cure stuff but marred, perhaps, by poor vocal delivery.
Of course, there are, almost inevitably, weaker tracks. The title track is a disappointment and lacks the power and depth which can be found on the rest of the album. I searched long and hard for a word to describe it and the best I can come up with is "trivial". Whether you get the sense of what I mean I can't tell, but it does seem to be a waste of a song. The other weaker track is the final cut, "Break It". This track seems to draw on roots older than post-punk and is eerily reminiscent of something which would not seem out of place on the Damned's Machine Gun Etiquette.
All in all, this album was a welcome surprise. Not having heard of the band before, I was pleased with what I had found. Those who feel that bands such as Interpol are offering something worthy of note should take a look at Pink Turns Blue before coming to any conclusions. If you enjoy somewhat dark songs with catchy, guitar-driven melodies, this is definitely for you.
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