Artist: Pink Turns Blue
Genre: Darkwave / Post Punk / Alternative
Release Date: 1st October 2021
Label: Orden Records
In 1985 THE CURE released ‘The Head On The Door’, THE CULT released ‘Love’ and DEAD OR ALIVE had a number one hit with ‘You Spin Around Like A Record’. It was the same year that German band PINK TURNS BLUE formed. Initially they were a duo consisting of Mic Jogwer and Thomas Elbern, the drums ably provided by a machine. If it worked for THE SISTERS OF MERCY then it would work for them, until it didn’t. The name was inspired by a HUSKER DU song and the music was inspired by THE CURE, THE CHAMELEONS and CLAN OF XYMOX. Two years later they released their debut album called ‘If Two Worlds Kiss’ which brought dark undertones to their sound. Around 11 albums later and the band is still here. ‘Tainted’ was written and recorded in the band’s Berlin studio during the pandemic and is in essence a treatise on the state of the world currently, what with viruses, mass consumerism, societal splits, uncertainty of health and finances and the like...
My view of this album is conflicting. On the one hand it’s easy on the ear with a sound not too dissimilar to INTERPOL, EDITORS or THE CURE. It has this “holding lighters in the air” vibe that has you swaying with your eyes closed one minute but then there’s this repetitive and morose vein that runs through it that flips me from boredom to sleepiness and a voice within me whispers “Oh what’s the point”. The sound is bleakly windswept, introspective and daydream-like. There are times when each track seems to blend into the other and I think I am listening to the same track. The blending only breaking when a keyboard line or a guitar riff adds some variety to the proceedings.
The track ‘So Why Not Save The World’ illustrates this perfectly. “This sounds just like the last track” I say to myself, and then some wonderful CURE-esque guitars break up that feeling into shards that melt into the air. Most of the bass lines are linear. Backtracking slightly ‘There Must be So Much More’ is reflective in tone and ‘I’ll Never Give up’ lose me in a lolling reverie. What this album is about is the human attitude towards nature, climate change, mass consumerism and the like. And it asks whether we could be a better species in controlling our impulses and being more considerate. We could, all of us could! Young and old could stop being so entitled and lazy. We could all stop being complacent and self-centered and above all, HYPOCRITES! My views on the issues could take up a whole review of its own, so let’s just stick to the matter at hand eh?
What this album is melodic and pensive. It makes you, no, it does not make you, but it facilitates you asking yourself some questions about your own relationship to the world around you. The answers you come up with may be answers that facilitate change, they may facilitate nothing at all but at least questions have been posed. All I know is that change does not happen by factionalizing or tribalising and apportioning blame or what have you! This is not an album that gets me in the mood for a bouncy walk. There are glimmers of hope here but I feel heavy of head whilst listening and the walk I shall have after will be music free to clear the heaviness. Even the track ‘Summertime’ has a refrain “It’s summertime, summertime…” delivered in a world weary way, I can imagine the singer going down on his knees and holding his head and lethargically mouthing the words.
The final track on the album reminds me of what you’d say to a friend or a lover that’s decided to walk down the road to self-destruction or someone who has been pounded into submission by an outside force and you still have a splinter of hope that this sorry state of affairs can be overcome for the better. But the context here has obviously been changed to allude to the globe of rock we all piss on, every day. ‘You Still Mean Too Much To Me’ I like the album but it’s not a bucket of joy, I’ll tell you that! 24hrs later: Later on I was listening to some other music and when I’d finished that music had not embedded itself in my head. It will but in the meantime THE CHAMELEONS like vibe of ‘You Still Mean Too Much To Me’ had embedded itself and it kept going on and on like a whippet on a treadmill. This track is annoyingly good.
01. Not Even Trying
02. There Must Be So Much More
03. I’ll Never Give Up
04. So Why Not Save The World
05. I’m Gonna Hold You
06. It Fades Away Private
07. Never Give Up
09. Brave New World
10. You Still Mean too Much To Me
Mic Jogwer – Vocals and Guitars
Ruebi Walter – Bass
Paul Richter – Drums
Photo Credits Press Photos – Daniela Vorndran
Total: 7 / 10