It is with great thanks to the vocalist of Pink Tatami, Mike Marques that we can bask in one of the most invigorating and downright thrilling releases of the year so far. The frontman of the French band introduced himself and colleagues with the hope that a review of their debut album Chapter & Verse might be possible. One blast of just its opening song and a review was not only possible but essential. Consisting of twelve exhaustingly imaginative fusions of alternative rock and metal, with plenty more besides lurking and seducing from within, the album is a breath-taking tantalisation. Bulging with virulent hooks, deceptive shadows, and an irresistible invention which hooks its claws in from the first second to the magnetic last, this is a debut of not only an outstanding band but of a potentially major force.
More than merely flirting with experimental tendencies, the sound of Pink Tatami feeds off the richest essences within metal and rock, every song a distinctive individual combining for an enthralling and mouthwatering proposition. Toying with and igniting the imagination and passions like a mix of Faith No More meets Kontrust with the devilry of Dog Fashion Disco and Destrage adding to the constantly evolving recipe with an extra spice of 6:33, sound and album roars and teases with all the charm of a bestial predator, the seduction of a sultry temptress, and the psychotic lures of a deranged puppeteer, though not always in that order or combination.
Recorded over a two year period, Chapter & Verse leap at ears and imagination right away, the Paris quartet simultaneously stroking and threatening the senses with dark riffs and rhythms with the entrance of opener Twisted Lip. The track soon settles into a feisty keen stride, the bass of Alex Ghilardi growling imposingly whilst the guitar of Florent Beaucousin coaxes and fires up thoughts in league with the richly impressive tones of Marques. It is an immediately flaming temptation which elevates its psyche metal seeded bait with the pop rock twist of the chorus. That Faith No More comparison is a swift suggestion though song and Pink Tatami only use it as flavouring to their ripe feast of sound. Across its saunter the song fuses in some funk twists with a Red Hot Chili Peppers lilt and a strong melodic rock grunge like enticement, an ingenuity which only adds to the potency.
The very strong start is soon shaded by the following Sinistra, which opens up its lure with an electro resonance, its stimulating wash surrounding the welcoming vocals and subsequent blaze of guitar steered by the punchy beats of drummer Bamby Alfonço. Again there is a definite Patton-esque flavour to the teasing which only accentuates the rich tones of the song. Flowing into slower romancing avenues and rapaciously toned energetic ventures, the track keeps thoughts and appetite on their toes and greedy for more which False Rebounds is more than happy to offer. Sinister whispers lurk as a singular guitar brings the song into view, the dark ambience standing over the emergence of the song until pushed aside by funky enterprise and bouncy vocals which step in to steal attention. It is a constant balance though, the shadows never far from making their narrative heard alongside evocative melodies and the livelier urgency of the track ever eager to have its say. It results in a riveting and thrilling proposition though in many ways just the appetiser to its quite magnificent successor.
The title track to the album is simply glorious, from its opening scrub of riffs and pulsating hypnotic beats a ridiculously virulent and anthemic suasion. The start has a Buzzcocks feel to its tempting and is soon courted by surf rock like croons and floating harmonies. Capture of heart and soul is done within those opening seconds, leaving the rest of the track to wrap tighter bonds around their submission. Into its stride the track enlists the contagion of rap metal with hip hop seeded vocals chopping across the ears whilst a sonic mystique dances provocatively in the background before erupting into a blazing sun of impressive vocal soars and searing melodies. It is easily the best song on the album, and the others are mighty, and one of the best to grace the year to date, much like the album.
Fears that there might be an anti-climax in store after such a triumph are soon chased off by both The Employee and “A” is for…, the first stalking ears at through dark vocals upon a stirring ridge of riffs before expanding into an intrigue noir kissed adventure with a sultry melodic breath. A track which manages to smooch with and haunt the senses at the same time it is another striking slice of invention; corrosive floods of aggression and predacious riffs having as much of a say in the painting of the song’s mysterious canvas as the mesmeric vocals and entrancing melodies, not forgetting the arcane tempting watching on. Its successor brings a ska toned walk to its delicious pop rock dance, crooning and embracing the listener in another RHCP spiced escapade which entrances and mischievously plays.
The caustic touch of Dumas & Dos Santos brings another flood of ardour upon the album, the carnivorous bass tones and rapier like aggression of the guitars and rhythms irresistible as they thrust a violent furnace of intensity through the ears. It is tempered though by an infectious side to its provocation which increases the epidemic invasiveness of the explosive treat. It is a pleasure taken on further by the dark suggestiveness of We Can Help You, a track veined by exploratory sonic adventure and intrusively appealing twists, and the intensively shadowed Dorothea Tanning, its tale and invasive sounds an enveloping cloak of danger and creative spite. The song roars and thrashes about as its theme unveils every black twist and intimidating turn whilst merging passages of intimidating seduction into the turmoil.
Adhesive spits and romances with its diverse wares next, the song a gentle caress in certain moments and a voracious assault in others reminding of Russian punk rock band Biting Elbows at times. The song is surpassed by the following Evokes, a spiral of sonic addiction from its first seconds before careering into the passions on a torrent of punk/metal rabidity. Grooves and riffs squall irresistibly across the bow of the rhythmically challenging song, vocals adding irrepressibly to the raucous tempest. It is a stunning and quite brutal peak to the mountainous range of the album, a Breed 77 toxicity only adding to the inescapable trap.
Closing on the mild in comparison Eye Bank, a song where thoughts of Poets Of The Fall come to mind but just another tone in something unique to Pink Tatami, Chapter & Verse is one of those gifts you cannot turn away from without assistance, an enslaving incitement with far reaching snares. Though long in the making, the album is only the debut of Pink Tatami, a quite magnificent and accomplished one admittedly, but just the start of their journey. It is scary to think how good they have the potential to become and extremely exciting.
The self-released Chapter & Verse is available now!
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from