|Label:||Full Time Hobby|
Based on the playful Copenhagen-based experimentalists’ previous EP 'Peep', it was difficult to tell just what 'Free Time!', Pinkunoizu’s debut album, would sound like: in its three tracks, 'Peep' explored electronically-tinged pop akin to the recent output of Animal Collective in ‘Time Is Like a Melody’, rhythmically pulsing psychedelia in ‘Everything Is Broken Or Stolen’, and an adventurous collage of musical styles in the almost-11-minute-long closing track ‘Dairy Queen’.
Despite 'Peep's refusal to conform to any one style, 'Free Time!' can certainly be seen, in many ways, to be a continuation of what the band started on; this can be seen not only in the presence of ‘Time Is Like a Melody’ and ‘Everything Is Broken Or Stolen’, but also in terms of how it continues that EP's sense of stylistic eclecticism, and – more interestingly – in how it explores further those individual styles and influences that Pinkunoizu drew on for 'Peep'.
For example, the band extends on the more accessible, electronic pop side of things with tracks like ‘Parabolic Delusions’ and the slightly country-tinged ‘Cyborg Manifesto’; while also exploring their more experimental and esoteric side on tracks like ‘Death Is Not a Lover’ and ‘Somber Ground’ – tracks that draw on influences as diverse as Krautrock, psychedelia, noise-rock, and minimalism amongst others.
For all its eclecticism and despite the presence of this strong dichotomy between accessible and difficult, pop and avant-garde, 'Free Time!' never feels unfocused or in any way sloppily put together. The disparate styles and influences that comprise the album’s eight tracks are all connected by the constant sense that the band are genuinely passionate about what they are doing; a sense that best manifests itself most noticeably in the joyous closing minutes of ‘Death Is Not a Lover’ which, after an atmospheric, droning build-up, explodes in an energetic celebration of chiming guitars, dancing synths, and coolly spoken / sung vocals.
'Free Time!', then, is a very apt title for an album such as this that openly celebrates freedom through its generic hybridity, and its brilliantly loose and experimental approach to songwriting and performance.
Posted: Fri 6 July 2012