ARIEL PINKS HAUNTED GRAFFITI 2 The Doldrums (Paw Tracks)
Quite unlike any other album Ive ever heard, The Doldrums was pieced together by California resident Mr Pink using multitrack cassette machinery. Consequently, the glorious pop sensibility that fills these nine tracks with glittering hooks, squealing synths and occasionally overenthusiastic falsetto harmonies is shrouded in a lowest-of-fi fog.
At their best, these songs are complex beasts, perfect bubblegum pop that nonetheless nourishes and sustains. Strange Fires closes on a nest of whoops and hollers as clashing time signatures fold in on each other. The Ballad Of Bobby Pyn suggests campfire rap from the echo chambers of Ariels mind.He hits a kind of pinnacle during Envelopes Another Day, its chorus suggesting Echo And The Bunnymen meeting The Bee Gees, ridiculous as that may sound.
Half of me thinks that The Doldrums is crying out for a record company-bankrolled studio remake. The other half argues it would cause The Doldrums delights to evaporate like smoke. It would be too easy to take its charms for granted if you didnt have to contort your ears into a squint to appreciate them.