The Number Of The Blog

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The Number Of The Blog

Message  Alexis le Mar 22 Juin - 10:29



Pin-Up Went Down was a band that sort of came out of nowhere (well, actually they came from France) to take me by surprise. Their previous album, 2 Unlimited, was good enough to make them one of The Greatest Bands You’ve Never Heard Of, and when I heard that they were working on a follow-up, I was pretty excited. We got a promo copy to review a little while back, but I’ve been waiting to do this review because this is the sort of album that needs multiple listens to properly wrap one’s head around.

As with the first album, the true defining factor of Pin-Up Went Down’s sound is the vocals of Asphodel, who is without a doubt one of the most talented female vocalists I have ever heard. Her range is, quite honestly, incredible; she is capable of going from sounding like a child to sounding like an opera singer, often multiple times within a single song. If anything, her vocals are used even more on 342 than on 2 Unlimited, with many of the tracks featuring a myriad of vocal layers combined. The result is fascinating, really, and truly is what sets PUWD apart.

The other major defining part of the band’s sound is multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Alexis Damien. Formerly the drummer for Carnival In Coal, he plays all of the instruments on 342, with the exception of his brother Nicolas, the band’s new addition, who handles piano duties. One thing that I’ve noticed from the last album that carried over to this album is the guitar tone, which is a bit thin and weak-sounding, but considering that the guitars are really only present on maybe half of the album at most, it’s a fairly minor issue.

The songs themselves are perhaps more developed and mature than the songs on 2 Unlimited, but even after several notices they don’t seem quite as memorable, either, with some notable exceptions. ‘Diapositive’ kicks things off in a really strong way with a jazzy intro that quickly segues into full-on metal with some insane vocal and keyboard work. ‘Porcelain Hours’ is as close to a straight-up tune that PUWD has, and it features some truly killer vocal harmonies. The awesomely named ‘Vaginaal Nathrakh’ is almost indescribable, starting off as J-pop and voyaging to death metal, funk, and doom. And ‘Escargot’ showcases Asphodel’s diverse vocal harmonies with only telephone busy signal as accompaniment.

There are some definite lulls in the album, though, too, and not necessarily in a good way. It feels to me like the songs here are less memorable, overall, than they were with 2 Unlimited, and the entire experience is even more uneven than with its predecessor. Asphodel’s vocals are unmatched, and the music is skillfully played, but the songwriting could probably use some work.

Still, as far as avant-garde metal goes, it’s hard to top Pin-Up Went Down. Hopefully 342 helps make people more aware of them, because they’re extremely talented and have a great deal of untapped potential.

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Alexis
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Date d'inscription : 20/01/2008

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