From the first instance, The Pink Noise erupts into life – thrashing through Shunkan’s debut opener ‘Garden’ with fuzz pop in every glory imaginable, with the sticky sweet vocals of Marina Sakimoto and poppy leads that grab you like nothing else. This song has the effect that The Ting Tings brought with ‘Great DJ’ and ‘That’s Not My Name’ at age 13; one that pulls and pulls until you are filled with feelings of uninhibited and extemporary insurgence, with an undeniable excitement.
The word Shunkan itself is one defining “the moment”, something that is captured throughout the album in several ways, and lingers beneath each riotous pop song with ease. Not all of The Pink Noise is made up of the fast paced percussion, slashy guitars and explosively emotive lyrics found in the first three tracks; especially ‘Peter’s “Your brown eyes are boring” reminiscent of the likes of Sleater-Kinney, and ‘Our Names’ in which “All our friends are making jokes, pointing fingers and snorting coke” is whined with absolute desperation. These songs build up a climax before the album has even entirely begun, leaving little space for anything to follow, but despite the deflation that accompanies the twangy guitars and simple drums in ‘Holdin’ To Your Breath’, a lot is yet to come.
‘SAD’ is a steady lift, and lasting just over four minutes, pushes towards a wonderfully dreamy end culminating in heavy guitar shredding layered upon delicate harmonies. The soft combination of the two could last anything between two and thirty minutes, and still be as effective, as though something only ever heard in whispered reminders, has been let free within the twinkles of Sakimoto’s soothing howl. After this comes ‘Palentologist’, immediately softer with slower guitar strums and a rawer vocal style that is only lifted with a bouncy percussion while “So don’t forget me, as your brushing off my better parts” is softly moaned.
From here, ‘Here With Me’ provides a largely percussion-less reminiscing to ‘Over’ from Sakimoto’s debut solo EP, with a much sweeter, melodic sound. After beginning with a fuzz of cars bustling, repetitive guitars accompany vocals fuzzy with warmth and affection unheard otherwise on the album. Short and sweet as it is, after a section of twinkling piano and drums with rounds of “das”, comes ‘Anything But Love’ – by which “I think it’s so messed up” is thrashed around soaring fuzz and crashing drums, with the purest pop sentiment and intoxicated sounds.
As The Pink Noise’s self titled track brings Shunkan’s debut to its close, the layers of fuzzy pop, sadness drenched in Sakimoto’s warm vocals, and dreams of nights spent dancing in the street, merge into unadulterated excitement. This excitement promises that The Pink Noise is only the beginning.
Art Is Hard will be repressing Shunkan’s ‘The Pink Noise’ on limited pink-dipped transparent 12″.