Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti - Before Today (5 stars)

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti - Before Today


Ariel Pink’s early albums were nuggets of bedroom pop alchemy, inspiring a generation of glo-fi and hypnagogic pop artists. Illicit pop pleasures – soft-rock, blue-eyed soul, 80s MTV – shone through, but as Ariel ‘Pink’ Rosenberg always insisted, the lo-fi sound was merely the result of technical limitations. Before Today, his first studio album, may be ‘properly’ recorded with a band, but still sounds gloriously odd.

Psychedelic synths give a woozy, late-night LA quality, while his mildly deranged vocal tics are present and correct. ‘Hot Body Rub’ brings car horns and porno funk bass, and ‘Fright Night’ suggests a goth Hall & Oates, but it’s ‘Menopause Man’, a candid ode to gender confusion, that cuts deepest, its chugging synth-rock a surprisingly effective setting for Rosenberg’s poignant vocals. Inspiration abounds, from slap bass romps, epic power-pop and warped glam-metal. An experimental pop triumph.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti