Pink Reason – Shit in the Garden

Despite the abrasive title (which seems somewhat reminiscent of the garage band “Cumstain” in equalizing linguistic depravity with fantastic jams and vocals, which make their presence known by sticking to everything like gum on a shoe), the final product here induces a much more majestic and calm feeling, providing his best release to date.

Henri Bergson once suggested that aspiring writers and amateur creative entrepreneurs should be offered grants to persuade them not to create. I doubt a grant would have kept a tsunami of this magnitude from unloading itself on peer to peer networks, bootlegged CD-Rs and mass retail markets. This is a definitive piece of work which liberates music from the steadfast possession of definition, to use Eli Khamarov’s words, by being able to transcend the genre grass markers.

This record has been eagerly awaited by myself, since I first heard the biting dissonance of “thrush” and “motherfucker”, as a seventeen year old stuck between cultural vampirism and not having an identity of my own. It really spoke to me without having to provide aphoristic maxims, or decoding the meaning of anything. In essence this was comparable to Hegel without realizing it.

This record is essentially a conglomeration of four years work since “Cleaning the Mirror”, which has accentuated through a series of 7 inch bombs here and there echoing the true versatility of Kevin Failure’s musicology. For example “Winona”, a depressive straight-jacket of a song, played host to “Give Yerself Away”, a seemingly more playful affair. These bullet points were elongating by an appetite with songs which had the same raw, virulent melancholia and guitar creme as the debut LP.

This record opens with a spirituous dance hall sound of early morning raves with looping drum and bass-like montages, providing a backing to very catchy repetitive lyrical hooks. It’s a fantastic opener which perfectly secedes into “I Just Leave” described by another reviewer as ending on an “elliptical banjo instrumental”, a song which is emblematic of the whole record with its experimentalism, candy floss blasts of unintelligible noise and very catchy pop sensibilities. The banjo appears once more on the preface to “You Can’t Win”, creating a Sir Richard Bishop or Hala Strana feel, percolating throughout the entirety. It also sounds like the beginning of any Big Blood CR-R in recent memory and I keep expecting to hear Asian Mae howling from the distance somewhere.

“Sixteen Years” has a long instrumental which for me is the highlight of the entire work. It’s loud, gritty, sentimentally uncompromising, canonically depressing in the right mood and at the same time energetically saccharine in providing opportunities for bad dancing, akin to The Wedding Presents’ “Take Me”, which used to have me jittering all over my room in very uncool positions. It opens lightly and explodes like a firecracker.

The same reviewer from earlier describes the title in a somewhat philosophic way by noting that shit is often used as a fertilizer to create life and in a sense the major theme of this work is a rejuvenation of waste into beauty and failure into success. It questions the fundamentalist definition of artistic and since we are on the topic of shit, it ought to question our waste disposal methodology too!

The reviewer also discusses how the album cannot be disintegrated and defies explanation or tagging or influence distillation. Yes I agree with the hypothetical notion that a piece of work cannot be disintegrated into snippets in principle and I agree with the comedian Stewart Lee who thinks Twitter is rather dangerous in the way it views artists and performers as content creators. Work deserves to be sampled within the continuity of its origin particularly when regarding albums which crave that linearity, but when it comes to music, the artist has a large degree of liberty when it comes to constructing and texturing the length, content and layers of work. “Try and dissect it like an owl pellet and you’ll give up in frustration” it says. However, I feel like dissecting something and reconstructing it is part of the fun and is not impossible with a record like this, which is not mind bendingly esoteric that it defies listening to in one session. That is what we do with records anyways, we deconstruct the content and add in our own prejudices and experiences to the context and make them our own. Music is very egalitarian in that sense. How many people within a relationship have a “song” which perfectly exemplifies that relationship in their mind? I am sure there are numerous people now playing Penny & The Quarters’ track “You & Me” and ascribing it as their “song” after Blue Valentine.

I think this is a good thing and certainly encapsulates why music is so meaningful to the populous at large. “Shit in the Garden” is a great record and may end up being on hundreds of “best of” lists ending the year. The songs do not have an animist life force, but they do fucking rock. They will not keep me up at night contemplating much but it sure does make you feel something, which is the role of art at large in my opinion.

Holding On –

I Just Leave –

Sixteen Years –

Written By: Degarmo

My Rating: 9/10
Genre/ Tags: Noise, Lo-Fi, Experimental, Pop
Shit In The Garden: Tracklist:
1.) Holding On
2.) I Just Leave
3.) Sixteen Years
4.) Cranes Are Flying
5.) Here On In
6.) You Can’t Win

BUY the LP from Insound
Pink Reason – Official Website

19 thoughts on “Pink Reason – Shit in the Garden

  1. Are we talking about philosophical movements or music? I’m confused. This is such a fucking awesome LP, though. Solid investment, for sure.

    1. I suppose the philosophical stuff was just going through my mind as i was writing the review. I do like to intersect a lot of things when reviewing and discuss things utilizing a gonzo perspective, if that is the right terminology. Next time i shall try and stick more to commenting specifically about the music as an external source and less about the specific thoughts which it generates in me?

  2. While I can finally understand where yr coming from when you try to utilize the “gonzo perspective”, I have to disagree with that concept as what you mean. I think the term yr looking for is intertextuality. Yr passion for the LP is inspiring, so it’s fun to read what you think flows and intertwines with the music, but some of the concepts you mention can confuse a laymen unfamiliar to philosophers like Hegel and ideologies such as fundamentalism. Pray tell, what exactly is your basis for bringing up fundamentalists on art? I’m not trying to be a snob. I suppose I’m seeing this from a Lit major perspective, though you were writing it from a philosophical perspective so we cancel each other out; however, looking at semantics is nonsensical.

    1. Intertexuality works fine and as a student who has a research base in post-strucutralism, i know what you are talking about. I didn’t go in to Hegel’s theories or discuss his philosophical concepts, i merely made mention of him within the context, to make a comparison. People have google and can search for these terms if they find them confusing. Looking at semantics is not nonsensical for semantics is the study of meaning which i am sure you will agree is very relevant when discussing art of any kind. I don’t even indulge in semantic theory much either, i merely skim it slightly and discuss personalized cultural reactions to music. I utilized the term “gonzo” to hint at the lack of objectivity in my reviews and that they are written purely from a subjective distance, and that i often write from first person narrative and include myself within the review of the product. Hope it makes sense, don’t mean to be a snob or anything.

  3. Unreal. I had a retort but, alas, I think I’ll save us from battle wounds. Don’t think for one second that you are speaking to someone who doesn’t understand the concepts in which you write and comment about. I was simply telling you that the review was more of a philosophical blurb rather than a music review. I’m also laughing really hard right now because I think this is hilarious, thank you for the fun tonight. I just like to get a rise out of people. It was interesting to talk to someone who actually understands this shit for once.

    1. I was just feeding the trolls. You know how it is. I would like to hear that reply sometime, Cos I am feeling brave. Maybe tomorrow?. Good night for now Chriz.

  4. terrible, pretentious review – awful writing, awkward sentence structure
    terrible, pretentious comments that use yr instead of your
    this review is why some people should be denied the internet

    1. I love when people use “pretentious” to label anything that does not conform to there standardized definition of writing (or any creative medium for that matter), I suppose I will replicate your sentence structure in future posts and have a piece composed of enjambment. Mr Young, you are just mad because you never topped “On the beach” from 1975. Pseudonyms are the reason why certain people should be denied the internet, right chrizz

  5. What’s wrong with the use of “yr”? What I find pretentious is the fact that people think they are worthy enough to post under the names of such amazing artists like Neil Young.

    1. “Pretentious” is slowly becoming a catch all term for rejecting something without having a sustained argumentation at all and there is no need to debate anything. I suspect religious fundamentalism will start to utilize the term in excess to reject anything which seems to reject their own positions

  6. i respect and encourage anyone and everyone to be artistic, but this is the equivalent of a macaroni picture frame. how did this get a 9?! i don’t know how this could inspire you to be philosophical when it is so uninspired. this literally sounds like a guy who likes brian eno learned how to play a couple chords, went into a studio, played them while singing some uninspired & forced lyrics, then occupied 5-6 other tracks with other boring chords, spastic drumming, randomly picked sample sounds, etc. it is sad to see that noise-rock/lo-fi music (which i like for the most part) is becoming so derivative and just…bad.

    1. Well the scores tend to be faintly ambiguous and subjective considering the use of decimals and under the predisposition of the reviewer, but i felt at the time of this review (and certainly still do) that it deserved the moniker of “Still Spinning” (like “best new music”) which tends to be anything over eight (I suppose therefore that the rating could have been anywhere between eight & nine) I certainly disagree with your opinion but i do appreciate dissenting views. Have you listened to earlier Pink Reason material? (you may prefer that stuff). What sort of Lo-Fi albums are you currently in to?

  7. i should revise my previous statement: i guess i don’t tend to like noise rock, now that i think about it. even the most popular/accessable of the genre today such as Weekend or A Place To Bury Strangers all the way up to the top ranks, like Brian Eno himself are a little off-putting imo. I sorta gravitate toward surf/post-punk/psych stylings that have a raw, lo-fi sound…among my favorite artists are the growlers, ty segall, white fence, monster rally, ariel pink (some), older surf music like the chantells/ventures…stuff like that. i know i probably came off like i was stating an objective point, but it was definitely subjective (and therefor doesn’t mean a whole lot). if people like this, that’s fair. i guess we’re just wired differently – which is totally fine.

    1. I don’t think we are wired differently at all. We come from a similar musical lineage in a way i think, because I like all the bands you mentioned (ty, white fence etc). We may just differ on this particular sub genre of music, that’s all.

  8. to quote the big lebowski, i mean’t the royal ‘we’. like everybody who is “into” music. grind-core and dubstep fans, to draw some obvious examples of scenes that a lot of people are into, yet i literally have to leave the room sometimes if people play it too much or too loud. sadly, yes…i guess i’m throwing noiserock under that umbrella category. i don’t mean to knock your taste or your posts – keep ’em coming – it’s always great to hear new jams and read a coherent review/comments about them, even if i don’t end up buying the record

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