It would be unfair to describe Pink Milk’s debut album as simply a ten track Shoegaze album, but rather as whole; a menacing, ethereal soundscape.
Pink Milk are preparing for the October release of their debut album Purple, and with it the group have successfully encapsulated a wide range of influences, offering something for fans of everything alternative and beyond.
The album does not cut around any corners, the album is introduced with an instrumental titled River Phoenix which sets the foundation as to what to expect from the rest of the album. Instantly greeting the listener with sounds reminiscent of The Cure (a la Disintegration & Pornography).
What the album does very well is that it keeps a consistent balance between the dream pop ethereal sounds of aforementioned influence and the noisier & hectic sounds, following influence from artists such as Mogwai & Low, known for creating soundscapes.
However, what differentiates Pink Milk’s Purple from their influences is it’s contemporary feel and it doesn’t rely too much on classic influences of familiarity; it comes across authentic & artistic in that sense.
Tracks such as ‘Muscles’ present the listener with ethereal, dreamlike soundscapes – these tracks paint a picture and are filled with effective tension, with an almost tribal-like dynamic. Whilst tracks such as ‘Detroit’ and ‘Awakening of Laura’ follow a more upbeat feel and are examples of the kind of “proto-gaze” sound you would hear from artists such as The Jesus & Mary Chain.
A personal favorite on this album is ‘Drömmens skepp’, a brooding piece deriving from Swedish songwriter Staffan Percy. The track is unforgiving, as is the rest of the album and stays true to itself throughout.
The album concludes with a Foreigner cover of ‘I want to know what love is’, it’s a very appealing conclusion to the album and Pink Milk maintain the authenticity of the tune and keep it recognizable yet add their own flavor, in a tasteful way.
The album encapsulates the art-rock format and the avant-garde that is noise music and keeps it original, Purple does not follow a formula, and that’s what makes it appealing on first listen, just like the first listen of Psychocandy – it offers something different yet attractive.
However, where Purple flaws is with the linearity of the tracks themselves, whilst the pacing of the album of itself is consistent and enough to keep the listeners interested, the tracks themselves stay very linear for the entire two and a half minute average. Tracks such as ‘Muscles’ can be forgiven, the linearity adds to the context of the piece, yet songs such as Detroit attempt to crescendo and are let down when the drum pattern is exactly the same throughout.
This sort of linearity will only keep the most hardcore of noise-rock fans interested, working out what effects they are using in their compositions to replicate the “wall of sound” aesthetic, but I felt after listening to a minute of each track, I could easily anticipate or guess what the latter minute or two of the track will sound like – it didn’t leave much of a surprise to keep me continuously interested.
All in all however, Purple by Pink Milk felt satisfying for what it is. A ten track soundscape of dark alternative music, reminiscing about abrasive artists such as Low – whilst being original enough to keep me interested. The linearity does become apparent after the first couple of tracks, yet it’s original aesthetic is enough to draw fans of similar artists in.
Purple by Pink Milk is out on the 20th of October, you can keep up with the band on their social networks below;