Ariel Pink – Pom Pom (2014)

Did you ever have the kind of guy at high school who use to sit at the back of the room and cut texta caps up? Or the dude who would hide people’s alcohol at a house party and watch them freak out at the rest of the room trying to find it? I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that Ariel Pink was one of those guys. Bedroom-come-international lo-fi pop star, Ariel Marcus Rosenberg, has let us peer once again into the inner workings of his mind in the form of his latest release Pom Pom. It’s already being touted as his magnum opus, and after a few listens I have to say the critics couldn’t be more right.

Stepping out of his bedroom to join the big time with record label 4AD, Ariel Pink has managed to retain the style and vibe of his early tape and CD-R work, despite the production now coming across as slightly more polished. Clocking in at a very generous one hour and eight minutes (and needing a double vinyl release for those wax fans out there), Pom Pom has Pink shed the now infamous Haunted Graffiti band and really get into the writing groove his fans have come to know and support. The overall mood of the album remains markedly more upbeat than Pink’s previous work, with the few exceptions coming in the form of tracks Four Shadows and Picture Me Gone. If Mature Themes was his ‘break-up’ album, then Pom Pom is the sleazy bar tripping reply.

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With Yo Gabba Gabba-esque tracks such as the album opener Plastic Raincoats in the Pig Parade and Jell-O, Pom Pom can come across as slightly deranged and out of place, potentially alienating those unfamiliar with the bizarre Pink shenanigans. Yet if you give the album a run from start to finish, you can really hear how well the songs come together in forming an ultra-wacky, 80’s B-movie inspired narrative that wouldn’t be out of place on the internet’s greatest video cesspit Memory Hole. You’d also think that an album this long would be all filler and no killer, but Pink keeps you hooked with super solid tracks such as Not Enough Violence and Black Ballerina laced throughout.

Pushing aside all the recent troll controversy Pink has found himself in (see Grimes, Madonna and Westboro Baptist Church), you can’t deny the man’s obvious talent in crafting off-centred, bubblegum-fuzz pop that really sets itself apart from all the run-of-the-mill dribble being produced around him (see Haim and Lorde). Go chuck this on the player and prepare for a fantastic acid-less acid trip. LONG LIVE THE FROG PRINCE!

Favourite Tracks – Lipstick, Not Enough Violence, Nude Beach A-Go-Go, Gothic Bomb & Black Ballerina (forgive me for having so many but there are 17 tracks to choose from)

Don’t be a sucker and go check out Ariel Pink during his Australian tour early next year…

Saturday, January 24th 2015 – Sugar Mountain Festival, Melbourne
Sunday, January 25th 2015 – The Brightside, Brisbane
Tuesday, January 27th 2015 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Thursday, January 29th 2015 – The Bakery, Perth (Northbridge)

More information and tickets HERE

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