"Bottom of the Morning"


01. Brown Rainbow
02. Special Dark
03. I'm All Gone
04. Burn My Body
05. Everything Must Go
06. Bottom of the Morning
07. The Master is Away

RATING: 8.5/10

Texas synth dirge duo PINKISH BLACK (once known as the trio THE GREAT TYRANT, prior to the suicide of bassist Tommy Wayne Atkins) release its third album "Bottom of the Morning". It's the band's first for Relapse Records, home to the kings of synth-prog revival, ZOMBI. Relapse is also simultaneously releasing THE GREAT TYRANT's last recordings, "The Trouble With Being Born".

PINKISH BLACK (Daron Beck and Jon Teague) share ZOMBI's (Steve Moore and A.E. Paterra) love of Seventies and Eighties-bound horror film scores. PINKISH BLACK is darker and icier than ZOMBI, even if the acts share a love of GOBLIN and Dario Argento, whose ethereal synths are well-known to veteran horror buffs. Daron Beck commandeers a rack of synthesizers, keyboards and Mellotron while vocally droning as if threading his way out of a coma.

The effects these two emit can be so engulfing one feels thrust upon the edge of cataclysm. Frequently the air-scrubbing background shrills and fuzzy coldwave the pair weave behind their compositions can feel both atmospheric and suffocating. However, Jon Teague's clouting rhythms give "Bottom of the Morning" a heaving groove that keeps the album teetering over a proverbial fire pit.

The opening number, "Brown Rainbow", is introduced as creepily as you'd want played behind a cult horror flick and the sinister key lines are nearly satanic. In due time, Jon Teague rolls his hi-hats and floor tom, ushering the track into a galloping, unchained soar through a tarnished sky of sludge. Subsequently, the bass samples plugged into "Special Dark" ride snugly next to Teague's shuffle clumps and Daron Beck's concurrent vocal and key humming.

The album takes a nastier turn on the crawling but fantastic "I'm All Gone", where cloudy synths hover behind a fuming bass melody and Daron Beck's choked whispers and random key dots. "Burn My Body", thereafter, sounds right out of GOBLIN's "Dawn of the Dead" '78 score, darkened with purring bass plugs and Daron Beck's forlorn chiming and drowsy wailing. Yet the longer "Burn My Body" weathers on, it takes a beautifully emotive shift.

The evil bass and piano skulks of "Everything Must Go" is derived partially out of John Williams's "Jaws" score and GOBLIN's rasping haunts. PINKISH BLACK couldn't be more devilish with this track. It's both terrifying and engrossing, driven by an eruptive tempo spike, searing coldwave and eerie key squelches straight out of horror yesteryear. The Mellotron-kissed title track rolls for much of its nine-and-a-half-minutes on a jazzy kick and elongated synth notes in the essence of EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER. Don't allow yourself to get too cozy however, the second half of "Bottom of the Morning" is dragged down to a set of beleaguering tempo crashes and shattering doom chords.

The plot is ingenious, as is most of this album. Interjecting personally, I caught one of PINKISH BLACK's gigs with ZOMBI this fall and was blown away by both acts. What I witnessed, demonstrated that PINKISH BLACK (who played a sizeable chunk of this album in their set) is far more devastating in a live forum. This says much of "Bottom of the Morning" as a studio album, and it stands to reason Daron Beck and Jon Teague have not only moved on from the tragedy of Tommy Wayne Atkins's suicide, they've purged it wholly within PINKISH BLACK. Let those who can withstand these often frightening discharges bask inside their dank glories.


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).