Born of a world in decline and on a course of self-destruction, Tainted is the new album from German post-punk/darkwave outfit Pink Turns Blue. Created in a year of lockdown which offered further evidence of abhorrent man made neglect or the moment the natural world took a course of revenge, the release offers up a collection of tracks irritable and anguished from the apathy or greed which does little to change the apocalyptic destination of this world. Equally many have an intimacy which can be embraced upon one’s personal experience, shadows and dramas; it all going to make one of the year’s most enthralling encounters.
Emerging as the duo of Mic Jogwer and Thomas Elbern in 1985, Pink Turns Blue embraced the influences of bands such as The Chameleons, Clan of Xymox, and The Cure. Time since has seen the band release eleven albums as their sound has evolved, as too the band’s line-up with Tainted the outcome of the united invention of Jogwer (vocals, guitar), Reubi Walter (bass, keyboards) and Paul Richter (drums). From its first eighties new wave and post punk beginnings and breath, the band has musically drawn on further flavours without losing their seemingly almost effortless agility at creating the catchiness propositions from within the darkest shadows. Tainted weaves essences reminding of artists such as The Sound, Interpol, Joy Division, The Callas and Holograms into its lament but only forges a richly fresh involvement of recognisably Pink Turns Blue uniqueness.
The album opens with new single Not Even Trying, a track emotionally and lyrically heading that aforementioned theme across the release. From a melodically clamorous intimation, Walter’s bass casts its tenebrific line, the first of many delicious lures for this appetite across the release and one swiftly joined by the just as subdued and compelling tones of Jogwer. Already you can feel, almost taste the angst and disdain in the thoughts and breath of the band, the melancholic sighs of keys just as potent in that air. Yet it is all irresistibly infectious, the song’s gait broody yet lively and stirring up body and emotions with ease.
The stunning start to the album is closely matched by the emotional and sonic exploration of There Must Be So Much More. As most tracks, it too is the product of and vehicle for exasperation and sorrow. Equally like all, it nags on the senses throughout; its rhythmic dexterity pure manipulation and melodic drama across guitar and keys an evolving fusion of perturbed calm and defiant tempest.
Through I’ll Never Give Up and its ripping dark pop contagion and the similarly viral new wave infused So Why Not Save The World, the album only burrowed deeper in the passion and psyche, both tracks pure infective beauty within tempestuous elegy with the latter bearing a great Modern English air while I’m Gonna Hold You provided an impassioned serenade upon another compelling rhythmic orchestration aligned to a fiery heart.
It is fair to say that not even a second passed without our captivation intensifying, the melancholy soaked It Fades Away and Never Give Up through its evocative rumination, whilst bringing new drama and aspect to the release, ensnared the imagination; the almost drone like radiance of the second epitomising the craft and addictive nature of Tainted as a whole.
Though as mentioned a record seeded in the darkest depths of man’s neglect and attitudes hope and light also erupts throughout, Summertime and Brave New World reminders and motivation as both songs call from within the shadows to involve emotions in inspirited rapture.
Tainted ends with our favourite track, You Still Mean Too Much To Me. It is a song which holds everything irresistible about the album in one own addictive plea. It too is a web of nagging and incessant creative rallying that gets under the skin like a seductive infection, raising the tempo of feet, the body’s swing and one’s hearty tones by the second. Maybe the year’s finest single courtesy of its outing a couple of months back, the song provides a majestic close to the album and instant compelling command to go press play again.
Yes Tainted is post punk/dark wave bred but quite simply it is one of the finest rock/pop albums you will hear this year.
Tainted is released September24th via Orden Records, available digitally, on CD with a 16-page booklet and on strictly limited (500) black vinyl with an 8-page booklet; pre-ordering available now @ https://pinkturnsblue.com/shop
Pete RingMaster 18/09/2021
Copyright RingMaster Review