Every now and then you are given the key to open Pandora’s Box, you have absolutely no idea what to expect? I had this experience this week when I received the new album from French Avant Garde songsters Pin Up Went Down – 342. I had no idea what was in store as I turned the key and lifted the lid… The glow, seeping out, from the box was decidedly pink and very, very fluffy but I persevered nonetheless!
I strapped myself in and prepared myself as I pressed play… ‘Diapositive’ began with Asphodel’s, pant wettingly, cute vocals but before long the song burst into a Mr. Bunglesque cacophony of mischief and mayhem! I couldn’t help but love this track and set myself for a journey into the unknown!
The vocally enchanting ‘Escargot’ couldn’t be any more different if it tried… Taking you from Mr. Bungle to Tori Amos in a matter of seconds. ‘Porcelain Heart’ is as different again, this time taking parts of Mr. Bungle and Tori Amos, putting them in a blender and whirring them into a Gallic soup with added cutesy! ‘Essence of I’ is more of the same. ‘Khabod of my Aba’ is an interesting proposition… it begins with a pipe organ and a choir and proceeds with tepid Death Metal, a very creditable Alanis Morissette impression and vocals with more cute than a troupe of seal cubs! ‘Home’ displays the undoubted vocal talents of Asphodel , whereas, ‘Vaginaal Nathrakh’ is more about Alexis Damien‘s harsh vocals, guitars, drums and Pokémon style singing! ‘Pictures to Speak to’ continues in very much the same vain. However, ‘Murphy in the Sky with Daemons’ is a journey back to Mr. Bungleland but with another sprinkling of cutesy, as is, ‘Paradoxical Sarabanda’. ‘Aquarium’ is a haunting tale that rounds of the record very well with more Bunglesque and Tori Amos meanderings.
342 is an eclectic mix of styles moulded to fit within the context of an album, it is not an odyssey that you follow through from start to finish but rather a collection of short stories. There are moments you will treasure but there are also moments that will make you want to press the stop button.
Pin Up Went Down fall squarely in the Marmite category, you’ll either get them and love them or you’ll not get it and hate it but as with anything you’ll have to try it to find out!