Pinkunoizu @ The Lexington, London 28/11/11

December 6, 2011 by  

Pinkunoizu are a band from Denmark with influences ranging from Thurston Moore to Omar Souleyman to H.P. Lovecraft. According to the band, they play ‘an exotic mixture of lo-fi, high-life, modern composition music, nu-folklore, asian 60’s pop and future post-apocalyptic underwater rock’. Yep, they’re pretty odd. It seemed rather apt, then, that they were sandwiched on the bill between a relatively unknown blues rock band and Pink Mountaintops, in the psychedelic, disco ball-sporting upstairs room at The Lexington.

On the one EP that they’ve released, they’re quite a synth-heavy band, but the lineup here did away with some of the electronics and employed a violin. This added a hearty, more textured sound to the proceedings, especially during the intro to ‘Everything is Broken Or Stolen’, which features a jaunty ascending melody, that breaks down into what sounds like random notes.

I wish I could remember the rest of the set, but it’s all one big weird haze, and not for the reason that I’m pretty sure quite a few other people in the room thought. Pinkunoizu pride themselves on being an experimental jam-band, who, despite having long, sprawling songs (their three-song EP is twenty four minutes long) in their repertoire, explore their influences with different instruments and melodies, which divide the long songs up into smaller, more interesting parts. On record, this sounds good, because the sounds are clear and sharp, and they’re able to use as many instruments as they want, and as much time as they want to layer everything on top of each other to create an odd and fascinating sound.

However, when translated to the stage, it just doesn’t work as well. With only three guitars, drums, a violin and an organ bass on the floor, they’re not able to create the same sprawling sound as they do in the studio; instead, it just sounds like a really, really long jam, where the different sections are indistinguishable from each other except by a key-change or a different picking pattern here or there. As far as jam sessions go, it wasn’t bad, but a half hour long jam-session is tiresome for somebody who expected to hear interesting soundscapes, and explorations of different genres with a variety of instruments.

Seeing Pinkunoizu at The Lexington was like being in a bizarre dream – the same, strange musical phrases kept repeating over and over, while the crowd looked on, transfixed like statues. All the while, the disco ball kept spinning, and everything was covered with little silver moving specks. To their credit, there’s one thing that Pinkunoizu are good at: making a weird situation weirder.