I transitioned from buying my first rock CD (which Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory) into 90s grunge rather quickly. Silverchair, Nirvana, and Smashing Pumpkins clouded my speakers and gave me a new sense of self. There’s been a serious absence of grunge and post punk in popular music scenes for quite some time, but Pink Elephant has brought it back with a vengeance and ignited the personal connection I’ve had with the genre once again.
Around Your Neck is Pink Elephant’s latest release. Eric’s vocals are strong and polished, an articulate way of confessing some of the most honest lyrics. His spoken word technique entices you from beginning to end. It brought back memories of listening to Killradio, who announced a reunion this year, and Verse, one of my favorite hardcore bands from early 00’s.
There’s something humbled and personal about the band. Beginning with a driving bass introducing angsty vocals in “Last Kill”, you can tell where they draw most of their influence from. The New Yorkers list Sonic Youth, The Pixies, Fugazi, and Dinosuar Jr as some of their main influences.
Title track “Around Your Neck” is an intimate upbeat jam, while “Rip” is a heart-racing angry punk anthem. “Andy in flowers”, the crux of the album drifts into “IN FLOWERS”, giving an intense crescendo to a solo and abrupt end.
“Henry’s Arm”, their single from the album, is a break from all the rage and offers a story. The guitar is nearly screaming, giving a pause to think about what was said thus far. “Garbage Head” continues the personal rants, but Eric screams about humorous details layered alluring chords and bass amid a faster beat.