Low grade synths are dotted throughout the album yet prove a refreshing change from today’s “retro” synth playing. ‘Beverly Kills’, be it sly dig at Weezer’s ‘Beverly Hills’, homage to Insane Clown Posse’s song of same title, or original in provenance, is charming and bizarre. Elements of ‘Little Wig’ could pass as MGMT meeting Muse - a frenzy of merged indecipherable sounds transported into space. Jazz saxophones, funk grooves and some fine 60s harmonies rig up this new record, but long-term fans should not be too disappointed either - songs like ‘Butt House Blondies’ will continue many experimentalists’ near love affairs’ with Ariel Pink.
Detractors could call this a slightly lost and confused compilation of wedding versions of 80s hits, but a keen sense of fun is the key to this, and it is certainly evident in ‘Before Today’. ‘Menopause Man’, with its plodding splodgy bass, and disturbing lyrics - “I’m a lady from today” and “rape me, castrate me, make me gay” being two examples - needs to be taken with a large pinch of salt. Not that this detracts from the overall Ariel Pink experience - this is certainly a step towards being more accessible. Gone are the lo-fi recordings for now, Ariel Pink has embraced the studio and no doubt there is more to come.
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Expect reissues of albums released between 1999 and 2004, with the first instalment of the series announced today!
Two new special shows will take place during Ariel Pink’s upcoming tour with Black Lips.
Josh T. Pearson, Viet Cong, A Place To Bury Strangers and Titus Andronicus are also on the bill.
Artists will tour across the continent together in October.