Are you ready for some good ol’ rock n’ roll? Pink Mountaintops are back, after eight years, with a new album of twelve adventurous songs that range in influences from Pink Floyd to 80’s new wave to 90’s alternative rock like the Psychedelic Furs and even Oasis. Their first album not with Jagujaguwar, they joined ATO Records’ amazing roster of musicians, and have a BIG sound, like much of ATO bands. But I wouldn’t call it a departure.
They have always been a band that’s known how to write a successful rock song, with their own gritty, hooky flavoring. They led their campaign for this album with their universally-inspiring, 80’s, 90’s rock ballad, “Lights of the City.” “The lights of the city / Seduced by their call / Like angels in waiting / Don’t flash ‘em no fear.” “You’ve got the power brave in your heart / Awaken the wild from your dreams.” With their emphasis on raw instrumentation and lyrics, this is a band begging to be seen live in a city near you.
They cram their songs with alternative jamming, fit for a band along in their years, like “Shake The Dust,” a six-minute new wave romp that fittingly repeats the word “breakbeat” five or six times. That is the signature feeling of this album: it is a mix of off-the-rails experimentation and finely-tuned hit songs. Highlights are the impeccably written and performed, “Nikki Go Sudden,” “Miss Sundown,” which sounds influenced by the likes of the Kinks, and the single “Lights of the City.”
Pink Mountaintops is a band, who have in the past climbed the radio charts, and it’s interesting listening to a full album of material from them, because really they are masters at single song composition. Each song recalls a different era and perhaps a different artist. It’s clear that they’re music connoisseurs, and have in a combination of good luck and hard work, been able to add their own songs to the modern canon of music. Not all of their songs are as successful. “Muscles” and “All This Death Is Killing Me” some of the last songs on the album, could have been left off, in my opinion, though I think they would add fuel to their live show, perhaps more than being enjoyed in an album’s context.
Pink Mountaintops is the kind of band you’ll love if you like taking a trip through the last few decades of music, without fearing something of a “rip off” of past sounds. For them, it’s more like an honorable and loving nod. They are great songwriters and performers, in their own right. A band with a sound I have never heard before, while incorporating a lot of former sounds into their work. This album holds up in their impressive discography and it’ll be interesting to see where ATO take them going forward.
Order Peacock Pools by Pink Mountaintops HERE