Published Apr 25, 2014Pink Mountaintops has always been Stephen McBean's most ineffable project; the band's sound is generally dictated by whomever McBean is working with at the time of recording. So it's no surprise that the project's long-awaited fourth LP offers yet another sonic shift. If 2009's Outside Love was a celebration of friends and romance, then this is the next day hangover. With the Icarus Line's Joe Cardamone producing, McBean gathered a host of musicians in Los Angeles, including Giant Drag's Annie Hardy, Greg Foremann, formerly of Delta 72, and his Grim Tower collaborator, Rob Barbato, to lay down these tracks after a pair of false starts.
"The Second Summer of Love" is ostensibly a link to the past, obliquely referencing Outside Love's sunny optimism, but lyrically the song riffs on the down and out characters of L.A.'s Sunset Strip. "Restless boys on the Metal Blade/Dropout girls smoking Expert As," sings McBean. Get Back is ragged and unfocused, and proudly so. The production is raw but layered with a lot of sonic clatter obscuring the grooves and hooks on standouts like "Sell Your Soul" and "Shakedown." Meanwhile, Hardy delivers an X-rated rhyme on the seriously bizarre "North Hollywood Microwaves," a track that feels incongruous with the rest of the record and probably should have been omitted.
Like the murky corners of the city that birthed it, Get Back is filled with interesting diversions, even if those ideas don't necessarily add up to a unified vision. (Outside)