Tainted – Pink Turns Blue (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Who knows where the borders between post-punk, goth, darkwave and alt-rock truly lay. Not me. But I will hazard a guess that if you ever found your way to that critical point on the sonic Venn Diagram, you would find Pink Turns Blue there waiting for you.

Named after a Hüsker Dü song but sharing more common musical ground with bands such as The Cure and The Chameleons and, given their inclusion of more electronic elements for this album, Clan of Xymox, Pink Turns Blue is a band with plenty to say both musically and lyrically. Sonically they bring the Darkwave and gothic sound of the mid-eighties, in which they too have their roots, up to date, not so much reinventing it but certainly giving it a much needed polish and repackaging it for the modern audience.

And, as much as I have always loved the cool, clinical chill of such music, I think it is the messages that their songs carry which are the most vital aspect of their music. Rather than the theatrical, overly romanticised or deliberately obtuse lyrics of many of the pioneering bands who set off on the musical journey alongside them, Pink Turns Blue has something important to say.

Their latest release, Not Even Trying, laments a world where mankind seems to have lost its positivity and drive, where it is settling for easy options and in doing so failing its own children, creating a world where aspiration and adventure seem in short supply. From there they tackle all manner of big issues – climate change, its effects, the reaction to it, the split within society, isolation, health risks and financial uncertainty.

So Why Not Save The World? sums up the album’s heart, a blend of delicate piano and pulsing basslines, driving beats and a challenge to us all to do more, do better, to wake from the apathetic state we are happy to exist in. Summertime is anthemic in its slow and sensuous way, running on a hypnotic groove, its title juxtaposed with the racks brooding vibes, its chilled and chiming, sonorous sounds and the album rounds off with the understated and spacious You Still Mean Too Much To Me.

Tainted is an album filled with familiar sounds remaining relevant a generation or two from their inception. It is an album of great songs. It is an album with a lot to say, poignant messages and powerful imagery are found throughout. It is an album that marks its creators out as a band that stand apart from most of their rivals. It is an album that tells us, in no uncertain terms that Pink Turns Blue is a band that cares. How refreshing is that?

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