In my everlasting search for new talented bands I recently stumbled upon a French avant-garde metal band called Pin-Up Went Down. I gave their 2 Unlimited album a couple of spins and it has been a passionate love affair ever since. The creative core of the band is formed by multi-instrumentalist Alexis Damien and female vocalist Asphodel. Now they’re back with a new album, entitled 342.
Just like on the previous album it’s a complete carnival of different musical styles blended together with deadly accuracy. Jazz, funk, pop, progressive rock/metal and fusion, it’s probably somewhere included on 342. In that regard they remind me a lot of Mr Bungle, Fantomas and Carnival In Coal.
Another important element are the amazing vocal gymnastics by Asphodel. Her range, diversity and commanding delivery would even make someone like Mike Patton blush. Utterly incredible.
Compared to its predecessor the musical content on 342 is much more focused and coherent. That makes tracks like Porcelain Hours, Escargot, Essence Of I and Vaginaal Nathrakh a very rewarding listening experience. The new album is also surprisingly complex, so it will take several turns before you really get to the essence of 342.
All the crazy musical antics and assorted madness going on are clearly audible, thanks to the transparent production.
I’m somewhat missing the chaotic innocence of 2 Unlimited, however the overwhelming quality of 342 more than makes up for that. Great album!
written by Raymond Westland