Pin-Up Went Down
3. Porcelain Hours
4. Essence of I
5. Khabod of my Aba
7. Vaginaal Nathrakh
8. Pictures to Speak To
9. Murphy in the Sky with Daemons
10. Paradoxical Sarabanda
It’s gotten to the point where it’s hard for me to come across music that’s weird enough to boggle my mind, but if anyone can do it, surely it’s the French. Avant-garde metal band Pin-Up Went Down are sure to keep you weirded out and fully entertained on their sophomore album, 342.
If you don’t know about Pin-Up Went Down, now is the time to look into them. The lineup consists of a trio of musicians, including multi-instrumentalist Alexis Damien, his brother Nicolas Damien handling piano and keyboard duties, and vocalist Asphodel, who has to be the most talented and versatile singer I’ve heard since Mike Patton. The band combines a gothic-tinged style of progressive metal with jazz, funk, and classical music to create this bizarre experimentation.
This album was certainly hard to wrap my head around, because the band takes songs into often unexpected places. Instead of going into the much hinted at and dabbled in all-out inaccessibility that this genre is known for, Pin-Up Went Down can turn what could be an otherwise unstable song into something of remarkable beauty, as is the case in “Essence of I” and “Murphy in the Sky With Daemons.” To really get a grasp on this album’s eccentricity, the music on this album ranges from something out of a Tim Burton movie, to death metal and j-pop. How they manage to turn experimental clusterfucks into something that’s even remotely catchy and memorable is something that is deserving of praise.
Asphodel’s vocal skills are showcased quite amazingly in 342, with her performance taking center-stage. Her voice truly is an instrument that plays a vital part in the music rather than a vehicle for delivering lyrics. She must be classically trained, as she delivers operatic vocals and sings angelically throughout. She delivers the catchiest vocal hooks, melodies, and harmonies I’ve ever heard in a band like this. Harsh vocals and backup singing are delivered via songwriter Alexis Damien rather competently, offering a contrast which can be needed at points. While the album flows like you would expect, the album’s closer in “Aquarium” leaves more to be desired. An album such as this needs an epic and climactic ending, not a quiet outro. Even still, the album doesn’t exactly suffer all that much from the lack of climactic tail-endings.
342 is definitely a piece of art that I find to be endearing once it has settled in, what with having its fair share of quirks. Pin-Up Went Down have every capability of being a present day Mr. Bungle; if their name was put out there more, that could very well happen. For fans of experimental, progressive, and avant-garde music, Pin-Up Went Down’s 342 is a must listen.
Pin-Up Went Down – 342 gets…