Pinkish Black is inextricably tied to the Great Tyrant.
There are the obvious connections — both members of Pinkish Black, Daron Beck and Jon Teague, were in the Great Tyrant before bassist Tommy Atkins’ suicide five years ago brought an end to that acclaimed band — as well as more subtle links, which become clear when listening to both Tyrant’s second and final LP, The Trouble With Being Born, being released for the first time in conjunction with Pinkish Black’s latest, Bottom of the Morning.
At nine tracks and nearly an hour, Born is instantly harrowing. The propulsive lead-off track Closing In, which opens with an unearthly, deeply unsettling howl and closes with Beck screaming “Goodbye my friends,” as if his flesh is being peeled from his bones, creates a foreboding mood sustained all the way through Weidorje’s final moments.
Taken together, Born is a fitting tribute to Atkins’ talent and the raw, riveting chemistry the Great Tyrant shared during its brief existence.
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Bottom of the Morning, Pinkish Black’s follow-up to 2013’s Razed to the Ground and its first release on revered indie metal label Relapse Records, is a brisk burst of heavy music, by comparison.
At just 39 minutes, these seven tracks, with Beck handling vocals, synths and keyboards, while Teague keeps time on drums and also contributes synth work, are every bit as menacing, but display a willingness to mash together a variety of brooding genres — post-punk, industrial, even shades of prog rock — to create a hypnotic, but no less sinister, soundscape.
There are undoubtedly echoes of the musicians’ pasts here, but Beck and Teague dazzle with their forays into the unknown future.
Pinkish Black will celebrate Morning’s release, appropriately enough, on Halloween (Saturday) at the Chat Room Pub, with support from Nervous Curtains and Curse.
Men of Extinction, ‘We Made It Ourselves’
Men of Extinction — the dynamic duo of Jim Colegrove and Roscoe West — bills its new album, We Made It Ourselves, as an “alternative protest album,” which might make listeners think of ’60s unrest or Occupy Wall Street-style agitation. It’s soon clear the description is a tongue-in-cheek assessment of these 13 wonderfully woolly tracks. “I can’t get used to the future/It’s coming up too quick,” goes one lament, as Colegrove and West sing drolly of love and time’s passage, all filtered through the acknowledgment that, well, things just ain’t like they used to be. They’re joined by several local luminaries: Jeff Dazey, Ginny Mac and Brook Wallace turn up throughout.