Thursday, 20 November 2014

Ariel Pink - Pom Pom Part 2

Pom Pom was finally released this week. I got it at the record shop. As I said in my original review Pink Raincoats, which I didn't like at the start, has become one of my favourite tunes. This is the tune that reminded me of They Might Be Giants. When I mentioned They Might Be Giants, King Missile, Ween, Nudge Squidfish and Regurgitator it wasn't a sledge against those bands as I'm quite fond of many of their recordings. Hey I own(ed) They Might Be Giants, Ween & Nudge Squdfish records. I was referring to the comic elements in those pop groups. I never had a King Missile or Regurgitator record but I didn't hate hearing them on the radio.

*When I wrote 'Goth Bomb is grunge meets goth meets metal meets space rock meets scuzz.' I had in mind for metal Black Sabbath, for space rock Hawkwind and for scuzz read Royal Trux. That kind of cancels out the other 2 genres doesn't it.

There's also a kind of English homage going throughout the whole record. Many a Brit accent is to be heard throughout Pom Pom. Oh...its just twigged its called Pom Pom which could be a reference to all you Prisoners Of her Majesty. I think he mentions Portobello Road in the first track. There's a sonic reference to the end section of A Day In The Life on Exile On Frog Street. The name of that tune obviously invoking The Rolling Stones. Alice In Wonderland gets mentioned along the way. He'd definitely be a fan of Swell Maps, The Homosexuals et al. I tried not to mention Pink Floyd, glam, Mr Bowie at his most overwrought and thespian & Mr Ronson in the original article. Did someone say side 2 of Diamond Dogs?

No matter how much he may be influenced by things from the UK, America and the rest of the world (read NZ ie. the great Axemen) there is always something so intrinsically LA about his whole vibe. It's in his blood. Having Kim Fowley and ex-Germs drummer Don Bolles on board doesn't hurt either.

*Cleaners From Venus.
I think Ariel Pink may have been instrumental in the reappraisal of this classic 80s under underground band from England. I have a vague recollection of someone (maybe a member of Ducktails or Emeralds) saying Ariel Pink introduced them to Cleaners from Venus via a mixtape and this was way before the reissue program of their oeuvre started. 

*Writers Block.
There are at least three songs with references to writing or writer's block on Pom Pom. I know he had a bad case of it for a while there maybe between Worn Copy and the first 4AD record in 2010. Many believed Before Today (2010) was mainly old songs from his vast archive. Indeed his first LP on 4AD included Beverly Kills which had already appeared on FFWD, L'estat was from Odditties Sodomies Vol 1, Hot Body Rub was on the Added Pizazz EP and Little Wig which had already been on a cdr sold at concerts in 2005 apparently. Before being remodelled for Pom Pom an early no-fi acoustic version of Dayzed Inn Daydreams (really just containing the chorus) was on Oddities Sodomies Vol 1. under the title Before Today/Dazed In Dreams. So he's still dipping into his backlog of tunes to this day. He's also turned writing about writer's block into unblocking writer's block thus creating a paradox.

Pom Pom has me wanting to dig out Cure, Bauhaus and Killing Joke albums. Strangely it had me wanting to listen to bands I never got into and in The Sisters Of Mercy's case, actively hated. Its got me thinking 'Were Fields Of Nephilim or Christian Death any good? Did I miss out on others as well?'

*The Bewlay Brothers is the final track on David Bowie's Hunky Dory. Gouge Away concludes Doolittle by the Pixies. This is a great topic actually - Best final tracks of albums. One has already been mentioned above ie. The Beatles A Day In The Life. I've got a list somewhere I should post it. Suggestions are also most welcome.

*'So that's 9 in a row then.'
9 Ariel Pink classics in a row. That row is very wayward and I doubt anyone got them in the order that they should have been in. Anyway what I mean is from Haunted Graffiti 2: The Doldrums onwards, which includes Sacred Famous, FFWD, House Arrest, Lover Boy & Worn Copy. Then his 4AD Years Before Today, Mature Themes and now Pom Pom.

*Haunted Graffiti 1: Underground
I've listened to this 1998(?) album (although I've never seen a physical copy) and it was ok but no classic. The quantum leap from Underground to The Doldrums was astounding, like he had signed a pact with the devil Robert Johnson stylee. I hope so. That'd be so LA.

This is strange don't you think? Are they all meant to be Ariel?
Only the yellow one has any resemblance. 

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