Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti 5
In this age of Protools and its digital off-shoots, recording music with a four-track and a cassette seems ridiculously arcane. Of course, even today, lo-fi as a genre still demands that its “sound” features certain audio limitations: the slightly muffled layer tape hiss, quavering quality levels from too much overdubbing, etc. House Arrest fits the bill nicely in these respects, but while originators of lo-fi like Lou Barlow moped along at a depressive’s pace, sulking over a lone acoustic guitar, Ariel Pink absurdly draws from ’70s AM rock. “West Coast Calamities” is the disc’s first track that pulls heavily from the sunny strum of groups like The Eagles but is lightened with Pink’s tuneless vocals and lines like, “I want a chick who puts up with my shit and puts out.” More impressive is the disc’s determination to make the listener dance, putting forth track after track with tinny, but insistent beats and twinkling Casio bleeps that hint both at disco and new wave. At fourteen tracks and 60+ minutes, the album weaves its way in and out of redundancy and transcendence. In the end, it’s the latter that wins out, but some stronger quality control the next time around could make Pink’s specific madness a little more palatable.
Paw Tracks: www.paw-tracks.com