Pink Skull: Blast Yr Akk
Tone Arm

An occasional 'indie-punk' release finds its way to the textura office, the disc usually sporting a freaky album title and chaotic collage imagery. The release typically features a too-familiar mix of raw guitar dissonance, electronic squeals, and shredded vocals, and just as typically never makes it into a given issue. With its slapdash cover, Pink Skull's Blast Yr Akk appears at first glance a textbook example but a single listen proves otherwise as none of the stated earmarks appear. Yes, Pink Skull's Julian-Alexander Grefe is a 'former punk rocker cum raver,' possesses the requisite colourful background—the progeny of a 'Wiccan-loving go-go dancer and draft-dodging portrait artists' no less—, and namechecks influences like Psychic TV, Faust, Daft Punk, and Ash Ra Temple. But it's the cuts that count and Grefe's, with help from Ian Kelly (DJ Diabolic) and Justin Geller (JG), hold up better than expected and even work a surprise or two into their half-hour total. Two dance tunes impress most: the understated house groove of “In Touch” hints at a Matthew Herbert influence, and the dubby “Holy Mother” pulsates strongly when not hauntedly groaning. In addition, “Grand Viziers After Party” resembles a tour through a torture chamber's ruins while a synth-heavy, goth-house treatment of Roxy Music's “In Every Dream Home” sounds better than the description might imply. In its own words, Pink Skull is “for those who love drugs and disco.”

July 2006