Perhaps we should start by discussing a few time-honoured cliches, such as “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks“, or “if at first you don’t succeed“, or “a rose by any other name“, as this quartet from Denmark used to make up half of an older group, Le Fiasko. However, this new reformation has released a set of rather masterful tunes, making their previous incarnation seem something more akin to a prelude to the new, improved outfit. We don’t have anything against their previous incarnation, but listen to this new set of songs and you won’t give a shit about Le Fiasko anymore, it’ll all be about Pinkunoizu. It just goes to show that true artists have it bursting out of them, so no matter what moniker they have, or which group they’re in, they’ll carry on delivering exciting creations. They’ve clearly taken all the lessons from that previous band, but by introducing us to an excellent batch of new tunes you can pick a card, any card, as it turns out that this dog is more than capable of picking up some entertaining new tricks.
The four-piece has been together since the end of 2009, and is made up from Jeppe Brix (guitarist), Andreas Pallisgaard (guitarist, vocalist), Jakob Falgren (guitarist, keyboardist, bassist), and Jaleh Negari (drummer), and you can hear they have a history between them, as they combine beautifully. Like a lot of Danish musicians, they seem to spend their time between Copenhagen and Berlin, two of Europe’s most interesting and inspiring cities and it’s clearly good fuel for this quartet. We have been in contact with Andreas recently and it turns out that Pinkunoizu is actually the Japanese word for ‘pink noise’, which seems rather obvious now we re-look at it, although the reason they selected such a strange new title is beyond us. They play a style of music that has a range that could sit anywhere between the folk of Freelance Whales and Bon Iver, with touches of TV On The Radio and The Flaming Lips introduced for good measure. If that doesn’t whet your appetite then we’d suggest that you, well, quite frankly you need to check your appetite.
Like Freelance Whales they are a mesh of influences and instruments, although you can hear they’re craft is perhaps more patient and less likely to reach straight for the hurdy gurdy. That’s not to say they don’t wind it up, or build to a crescendo, they do, regularly, but it’s one delightfully plucked layer at a time. They’re not afraid to start in the crouch position, but by each song’s close they’re stood tall, arms outstretched, or even better they’re elatedly star-jumping in front of you. On occasion it’s loose seams can sometimes fray, leading to irrational compositions, even stopping mid-tune as if someone’s turned the analogue radio dial off the station you were listening to, but it never falls apart completely. This is indie folk delivered more like jazz, in that it can go anywhere. It’s free from constraint and as wide open as a child’s imagination.
The great thing about this style of music – and the same can be said of Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver – is that it’s so very grown up and earnest, but with Pinkunoizu we also get a lot more lift and swell from the layers. It’s tangible folk rock. It has grip and tension. Check out Death Is Not A Lover and you will find that real things seem to appear out of what initially just seems like a lot of mist or smoke. It’s form is just a shadow at first, but slowly it creeps ever closer, before it’s on top of you, towering like something so large you’re forced into a cowering submission. It’s sediment stacks up to what seems like a dozen voices to create an incredible effect that sounds like an argument between you and death himself, as they state, “Death is not a lover“, only to hear his retort, “Oh yes he is“. It’s as scary as it is hypnotic, as you realise Death has his way with all of us eventually, so by it’s close you too will find yourself dancing with him whether you like it or not.
Their debut EP, Peep, arrived in November 2011, on Full Time Hobby records, (home to Timber Timbre and Fujiya & Miyagi), and the debut album, Free Time, is due out on the same label on March 26th, although an older and sightly different version of that album has already been released in Denmark. You can expect their usual experimentation and plenty of melody, with highlights as special as any contemporaries from similar genres. Admittedly they occasionally wander off down strange avenues, perhaps finding the odd corner or dead end, but that’s also part of their experimental charm and they never fail to find their way out of the musical maze they’ve created, ultimately reaching the finish in a glorious, satisfying climax. This adventurousness is a trick they continue into their videos as you can see from the below film made for their tune, Parabolic Delusions, which aims more for a kind of Flaming Lips-scale of grandiose theatrics. This band could re-form a thousand times and still churn out stunning music, so consider any name for this rose that you wish, as it would definitely still sound as sweet. (MB)
PINKUNOIZU – DEATH IS NOT A LOVER
PINKUNOIZU – TIME IS LIKE A MELODY