Ariel Pink – “Thrash and Burn” – [Human Ear Music]
In recent years Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti has exploded on the indie scene, with records on big labels Paw Tracks and 4AD and even playing live on Jimmy Fallon. This is not that Ariel Pink; no Rolling Stone chart toppers here, Pitchfork barely mentions this album. This is Ariel Rosenberg of 1998. Bedroom tape-deck experimentation of lo-fi ghost pop with him screwing around on guitars, keyboards, drum machine and a whole mess of effects pedals and such. Beautifully broken glimpses into his disparate influences, spontaneous ideas and blurry attempts to bring them all to fruition. Meek hints at the musical evolution his career was to have contained in these distant, incomplete melodies and even further off vocals thoughtlessly floating along and all haphazardly thrown together. Some tracks lean on the pop side, like the angsty anthems of White Rain or the gothy coldwave on I Won’t See You Again. Others on the more abstract end, like the cosmological contemplation on Starry Eyes rising out of 6 feet of moaning reverb from Cemetary Suite and tape warped deulsions and fantasies that won’t leave you alone on the 12 Minute Overture. Also plenty of left turns to throw you off like the video game show theme of Double Jeopardy and countryslide blues of Andalusian. The many faces of Ariel Rosenberg laid naked and bare. A diary of sorts that carries the disheveled character the album title suggests; these tracks don’t last long before falling apart.