“Before Today” – Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
After a long break from the blogging world, I’ve found out that I really haven’t missed out on much. There hasn’t been too many good album released in the past few weeks, with the exception of this brilliant album that is fast becoming my favourite album for the year. It’s called “Before Today” and the artist behind this great album is called Ariel Pink with help from his band called Haunted Graffiti.
It’s hard to believe this album was written and recorded in the year 2010. It’s recorded using tape, which gives it a very warm sound and also gives the impression that it’s been recorded in the early ’70’s. If I went back in time to the ’70’s and gave this album to someone to listen to, they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference (sound-wise) to anything else being made at the time. This is where the album shines, it really is an modern experimental album, but it gives the impression of a “classic” album.
The album’s musical style is a weird hybrid of seventies music and eighties music. It’s neither, while still holding a vibe from both of the era’s I just mentioned. For example “Beverly Kills” has a very early eighties feel to it, yet one of my favourite tracks, “Butt-House Blondies” has this really weird 70’s metal chord progression.
As cool as the “retro” feel is, the album’s content is quite remarkable. The songs brood over simple bass and guitar licks, while preparing the listener for the hook. The best example for this is the great first single “Round and Round”. At first it sounds quite ordinary, but it builds slowly and finally reaches the climax in the minute of the song, it’s one of those songs that seems humble and doesn’t try to blow your mind, but in the end, it does…
Another little gem off the album is “Little Wig”, like many of the other tracks on the album, it morphs from one thing to another and tries to catch your attention with each section of the song. In this songs case it works amazingly well. It sounds almost like its on an infinite loop and is continually building.
This album doesn’t “belong” to any period of time, it’s an interpretation of rock music of all time-periods (albeit, a quite experimental interpretation) and on top of this, it’s just a great album in general. I for one loved this album, I know some people won’t like it and some may even be confused by it. But believe me this album grows and evolves in your mind-space and after a while it will inevitably hook you. So listen to it, and then if need be listen to it again, because it’s bound to catch you eventually.
Reviewers Pick: “Round and Round”
Stand-out Tracks: “Little Wig”, “Butt-House Blondies”, “Beverly Kills”, “Round and Round”