I would recommend this album to pretty much anyone besides John Downey. Because he hates everything.
Full Time Hobby Records, 2013
9.1 / 10
Earlier this year Pinkunoizu had me hooked in with their EP, Second Amendment. Though Second Amendment had me slightly confused to begin with, praise for the EP eventually got mixed in with my usual musings to friends about that “amazing new band I’ve discovered”. Ten listens in I was still finding interesting new things to blab on about, so needless to say I was looking forward to hearing more. And now it’s here, The Drop has finally… dropped. Onto the hype!
Where Second Amendment can seem like a random combination of genre jumping songs, The Drop mainly sticks to a linear path. Most of the tunes drift into each other gradually, intentionally blending the lines between these genres in a way that makes a lot more sense to your average listener. The band is well-known for their multi cultural influences and their tendency towards largely improvised compositions. With only one week to design and record The Drop, they went into a studio with notebooks of ideas to be fleshed out with each other. Of the dozens of songs brought to the room, they selected a few to record, and went on to edit and master those mixes in their own free time. The result is immense and at times intense. Without the restrictions of figuring out absolutely every note prior to recording, the band could take these songs and finish them as they liked, adding loops, effects, and of course many other complicated techniques to get the sound they wanted.
Of the eight tracks on here, two of them also appear on Second Amendment, with slightly different presentation. “Tin Can Valley” ends a minute sooner with a fast forward loop of the same song as the finale. “Moped” doesn’t seem to change. It’s the fade out transition into what is now apparent as “The Swollen Map” that did. Though those two songs couldn’t be more different, the transition makes sense. The guiding force is an instrument that sounds like an airplane passing overhead. The uncertainty behind some of these types of sound sources are just a little piece of why I love The Drop.
Seven of the tracks are over five minutes long, which gives each song plenty of time to get its story out. Exactly what that story is presents itself with the mood rather than individual lyrics. The guitar chaos on “Pyromancer” calls to mind The Pixies, while mixing in a Weinland vibe from the bass, drum, and vocals. The combination succeeds at becoming a really catchy yet also slightly creepy song. Though the rest of the album accomplishes this same feat, the slow tempo of “Pyromancer” really adds to the madness.
Though artistically insane at times, none of the tracks on The Drop feel out-of-place at all. With an album that goes to so many places, this is definitely worth gawking at. Personally, I have trouble listening to individual tracks rather than the entire list from beginning to end. It’s kind of like fast forwarding through an epic movie just to see your favorite part. While I could see singles being born out of this album, that doesn’t seem to be the point. Pinkunoizu are touring and already in the process of thinking up ideas for their next release. I would recommend this album to pretty much anyone besides John Downey. Because he hates everything.