Noise pranksters and mathematicians On Pink have recently dropped their Ep “Scarlett“. With their brand of experimental shenanigans and obscure noise manipulation, the New York based trio set out to expand their horizons and bring something new to the table with the release of their new Ep.
“Scarlett” is the kind of release that is filled to the brim with quality material, but will be hit and miss given its experimental and quirky virtuoso. It’s the kind of release that repeated listens are needed to fully grasp what is going on given all the shifts of soundscape and time signatures. With the indie/math rock fused panache of Don Caballero and Hella to the dissonant 90’s skramz of later Jeromes Dream and Usurp Synapse; there’s plenty of noise and experimentation to go around. The guitars do a great job of keeping the listener engaged with quirky leads and diminished chords while the bass and drums cement the foundation of the songs, keeping everything smooth and fluid despite their schizophrenic nature. The vocals further push the experimental boundaries of the band’s already obscure sound. If you are familiar with the above mentioned influences you probably already know what we are getting into here. The vocals at times offer little doses of melody with clean vocal lines, or shift to a shout or a whispered mumble (hello Jeromes Dream, I’m looking right at you!). While the vocals may be hit or miss with some, they help tie the band’s brash blend of indie and noise together to round out the package. The lyrics written here are great as well, offering poetic, tongue in cheek one liners to get the listener to think and keep them engaged.
It’s hard to break a release like “Scarlett” down in a track by track format. The album is carefully crafted to be listened to as a whole entity. Between each track, there is an interlude of white noise/static and guitar ambience to segue into the next chapter of the band’s onslaught, even closing the album out with an improv avant garde/noise epic of sorts. The band know when to be heavy and abrasive with their panic chords, dissonance, and otherworldly technicality, but also when to pull back and allow melody take the reign and let the listener come up for air. Production on the album really helps with the overall vibe the band is going for as well. Very raw, yet clean; allowing for the band itself to carve their own identity within the confines of it. For a trio, the band do a damn good job of creating quite the wall of sound and sonic assault to back it up.
While “Scarlett” might not be groundbreaking for the math rock genre, On Pink do a phenomenal job of pulling from influences old and new to craft a tight listen. Simply put, Scarlett is a quirky, fun, abrasive, and engaging listen to say the least. If you’re looking for top 40/mainstream material, I’m afraid you have come to the wrong place; but if you’re looking for an intelligent listen with skill and a youthful mindset, you will most certainly be able to find refuge in this obscure trio. Be sure to keep up to date on anything “On Pink” and follow them on their social media platforms. I hope to see these guys pave their way in the indie/math rock circuit. They have a lot going for them for such a young act.