PINK NARCISSUS – ‘BLOOD ON THE PAGE’

With rumours that Andy Warhol was behind it, due to the director being credited as anonymous, ‘Pink Narcissus’ is an American ‘art house’ film depicting the erotic fantasies of a gay male prostitute. It was shot mostly on 8mm, over a seven year period in James Bidgood’s small New York apartment. It was in fact ultimately released without it’s director’s consent………… OOPS, wrong review! This Pink Narcissus is in fact a ‘post-punk’ band formed in Brighton during the winter of 2008/2009. With a disparate range of prior experiences, and an equally diverse range of influences, the members have managed to create a very distinctive sound.

‘Blood On The Page’ is their latest release and contains a selection of six carefully crafted songs all with a very unique Pink Narcissus sound. I’m not going to begin to try to guess at the significance of the various items adorning the defaced christlike image on the CD sleeve but I very much doubt that they have been selected a random. The seraphical winglike imagery on the outer sleeve is echoed on the disc itself by a dancing pair of creatures.

As far as the audio element is concerned there is a consistent sense of menace pervading the tracks, all bound together by Oli Spleen’s haunting vocals. The instrumentals are tight and provide a richly textured support which manages to provide some delicate moments amongst the insistent and driving beat that surges through the album just as the Severn Bore makes its powerful and unstoppable progress upriver from the Bristol Channel. Complementing Oli’s vocals, Paddy Longlegs produces delicately atmospheric upper register guitar motifs and driving riffs with equal ease. All the time the bass and drum combination provided by Cod and Cookie ensures that there are no pregnant pauses as they provide an extremely solid foundation.

On FaceBook they bill themselves as a purveyors of ‘freakrock’ alongside a very diverse list of interests, whereas on ReverbNation their categorisation is displayed as ‘other’/’alternative’/’post punk’ – the bottom line as far as I’m concerned is that labels matter much less than the actual experience of listening. If you are willing to take a few steps off the well-trodden path and seek to explore what might be lurking in darker depths of the forest then you should find that time spent listening to Pink Narcissus helps to expand your perceptions.

Oli Spleen – vocals

Paddy Longlegs – guitar

Cod Riverson – bass

Cookie Swallow – drums

1/ Victim

2/ Traps

3/ Orphan Eyes

4/ The Great Divide

5/ Kingdom Of The Blind

6/ Yield To The Night

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