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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Twink - Think Pink (1970 uk, essential heavy acid psych rock, 2013 remaster and expanded)

“Think Pink” is one trippy, hobbity mindfuck of the highest water. It’s a complex and varied album where no two songs are the same, but seem to be examples of sub-genres entire ALBUMS could be fashioned from. Come to think of it, it’s probably the last high-water mark of old-school psychedelia the moment before it gave up the ghost. And Twink had steadily worked his way through a succession of bands that by the time he was in The Pretty Things, making many musical acquaintances via The Pretties’ management, the Bryan Morrison Agency, who also handled The Deviants and Tyrannosaurus Rex. Soon enough they had performed enough gigs together to force Morrison to circulate a letter to these three bands requesting that they refrain from ever showing up at each other’s gigs ever again. Because if there was havoc to be caused, it WAS caused, and if there was none to be found, it would be located immediately. 

When Twink left The Pretties, he assembled a virtual roll call of London underground musicians: Viv Prince, Wally Waller, John Povey, Victor Unitt, The Deviants, Quiver bassist Honk, John “Junior” Wood (ex-Tomorrow) and Steve “Peregrine” Took. This album owes a grand debt to Paul “Black George” Rudolph for his uncredited arrangements and outstandingly effortless yet complex Stratocaster noise guitar burn-outs (which populate “Think Pink” in sheer and blissful abundance) are huge, soaringly hard and were barely hinted at on the third Deviants album. And the sessions yielded all things loose, crazy and hardened post-psychedelic. There is even a surprisingly manic funk out rare for even white dopers at the time as well as acoustic numbers that don’t sound the least bit obligatory, raga-based chants and group sing-alongs. Along with Rudolph, the other main inspiration for “Think Pink” was undoubtedly Twink’s pretty, blonde and Kohl-eyed girlfriend Silver, who appears on both the back cover and the album with an unforgettable vocal interlude.

The album opens with “The Coming Of The Other One,” a vocal incantation as screeching backwards sitars, further vocal mantras and randomly hit percussion float through the air and clang in a dark, incense-filled basement from “Performance” with Steve Took emitting fear-inducing animal noises in a dark corner. It fades as sitars race back in time, and the air clears and gets brighter with the remake of Twink’s minnow-psych pop A-side for The Aquarian Age, “Ten Thousand Words In A Cardboard Box.” A celebration of “a thousand colourful shadows dancing around my head/Rejoicing to the waking of the dead...” over heavily recorded drums as Rudolph covers the drums and telephonically-phased vocals with underpinning streams of pink cirrus clouds at daybreak noise/guitar. But Rudolph winds up shanghai-ing the piece into a soaringly free-noise hurricane as he peels riff after riff out of his bottomless Strat. 

“Standing Tiptoe On The Highest Hill” is a chilly, overcast autumn morning with swelling mellotron, muted guitar and somber drums, bursting your heart when the grim (yet sung angelically-echoed) lines come in and it dawns on you that this is the acoustic grandfather of Joy Division’s “Decades.” Backward noise/guitar streaks by Rudolph transform the whole piece into a coiled and curling jam out that cuts out to let the song descend quietly back into the sand and it’s seaweed-strewn grave. “Fluid” ends the album side, an instrumental stripped bare of everything but genitals. Slow bass, guitar and drums crack out an undulating and repeating rhythm as Twink and Silver coo to each other, barely touching and letting their vocal vibrations do the work of a thousand fingers. It’s Joy Division again, only a decade earlier and this time it’s “I Remember Nothing.” This is just side one, but side two is just as fantastically charged up and out there, reaching its apex with the Took-damaged, “The Sparrow Is A Sign.” 
by The Seth Man

1. The Coming Of The One - 3:42
2. Ten Thousand Words In A Cardboard Box (Twink, John Junior) - 4:28
3. Dawn Of Majic - 1:45
4. Tiptoe On The Highest Hill - 5:18
5. Fluid - 4:05
6. Mexican Grass War - 5:28
7. Rock And Roll The Joint - 2:26
8. Suicide - 4:22
9. Three Little Piggies (Steve Took, Twink) - 3:12
10.The Sparrow Is A Sign (Steve Took, Twink) - 2:23
11. 10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box (Twink, John Junior) - 3:25
12. Good Wizard Meets Naughty Wizard (Twink, John Junior) - 4:40
13. 10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box (Twink, John Junior) - 4:54
14. Dawn Of Magic - 3:24
15. Fluid - 3:40
16. Fluid - 4:19
17. Rock An’ Roll The Joint - 2:15
18. Suicide - 3:10
All titles by Twink except where indicated
Bonus tracks 11-18

*Twink – Drums, Tablas, Vocals
*Paul Rudolph – Guitar, Bass, Vocals
*John "Junior" Wood – Bass
*Wally Allen – Piano
*John Povey – Sitar, Mellotron
*Steve Peregrin Took – Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
*Viv Prince – Drums
*Vic Unite - Guitar
*John Lodge - Bass
*Silver Darling - Vocals
*Mick Farren - Spoken Words

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