Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti – Mature Themes

Album Review by Ross Watson | 21 Aug 2012
Album title: Mature Themes
Artist: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
Label: 4AD
Release date: 20 Aug

Indie success hasn't done anything to sway Ariel Rosenberg's unyielding dedication to kitschy, sex-obsessed synth-pop; Kinski Assassin – the bawdy opening statement of his sophomore album with a band – gives a fairly accurate portrayal of what to expect from this trip: a retro-indebted production style, stupidly contagious hooks and poorly disguised sexual references (these range from “I sunk my battleship” to “blowjobs of death”).


With its crummy spoken word segments, kooky vocals and strange interjections (Symphony of the Nymph samples a horse neighing at one point), Mature Themes takes a more streamlined approach than breakthrough record Before Today, tipping its hat to left-fielders like Zappa and Captain Beefheart, but the overall vibe is more akin to Bowie – still weird and psychedelic (perhaps forcefully so), but with a firm grounding in pop. Mileage on this one might be limited, but those in need of a quick sugar fix could do much worse.

Playing Glasgow Stereo on 8 Nov