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With its second LP Razed to the Ground, Fort Worth’s Pinkish Black continues forging its distinctive alloy for synthesizer-based rock. Keyboardist/singer Daron Beck combines distorted keyboard licks with washes of minor key atmospheres, laying his moody baritone in the mix as a texture more than a lead instrument. Drummer Jon Teague eschews any use of syndrums or programming, and simply attacks his kit with the force of a metalhead and the skill of a jazzer. Together they whip up a threatening storm more in line with the old school dissonance of Chrome than the retro synthetics of Zombi. “Kites and Vultures” revels in angry tones and Beck’s brooding growl, bringing an old-school death rock feel to the table. “Bad Dreamer” begins with mournful piano before crawling forth as funereal doom. “Rise,” “Ashtray Eyes” and the epic “Loss of Feeling of Loss” work an anthemic feel into the gothic astral rock. The title track adds proggy space rock flourishes, drawing on Beck’s previous experience with short-lived but underrated progressive rock band Yeti. Brooding but exciting, graceful but overwhelming, Razed to the Ground presents an expanded universe of synthetic and organic sounds that gives Pinkish Black a fertile, dynamic playground in which to grow.
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