Spraying & Splattering Brain Cells. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Before Today.

Sounds of Ferne Cotton’s head exploding as MGMT professed latest LP Congratulations to be entirely devoid of any “singles” were tremors as triumphant as a brass band hailing in the coronation of Sufjan Stevens as ruler of the globe. That said, it’s all too easy to forget that the wild’n’woolly Brooklynites aren’t quite the first psychedelic artistes to forage beneath a heap of trendy inspirations, clambering down to reverberating retro that divides opinion like Moses splitting seas. Hell, MGMT were still worming in and out of books at Wesleyan University when Ariel Pink first scribbled his illustrious moniker onto the catacombs of the underground.

Were music an egg, the latest effort from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Before Today shatters it, before whisking it into a scrambled, yolky mass, shell and all and slipping it down your gullet in a hallucinatory haze. Before Today, effectively, is the sound of your iPod’s mind disintegrating as genres collide more confusingly than nuclear fusion, before regurgitating an addictive, irresistible meandering wander through Pink’s influence list, presumably scribbled down on some muddy, crumpled leaf of paper. Illegibly. For Before Today represents something of a fantastical voyage through the lands of The Magic Roundabout, were each and every stop wholeheartedly dedicated to not only genre and era, but also the emotions that defined and continue to define them.

Opener Hot Body Rub comes across a little like Yeasayer freeform jazzing with Amadou & Mariam in the savannah “til the morning light”, before Blues Brothers brass wades in over spanked bass strings, and Bright Lit Blue Skies ravages, forget rocks the boat more forcefully than any of the throwback gems from Richard Curtis’ sinking ship love story of yesteryear. L'estat (Acc. To The Widow's Maid), bafflingly entitled, equally scattily composed, marks Pink as an innovator truly devoid of the wrinkles and benchmarks of time, whilst Round and Round approximates Pet Shop Boys monologue set to Stevie’s Key Of Life. Can’t Hear My Eyes is Luke Steele shimmying down Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road blasting BeeGees from a backseat boombox, whilst Butt-House Blondies may be more of a bona fide spot of C-list fodder than 80% of MGMT’s Congratulations, but its wailing guitars squeal more rapturously than Kim Deal being segued with pitchforks at Download. Friday Night (Nevermore), a muffled 80s synth pop plodder echoes the wily chants of Crystal Fighters hurtling through the upper atmosphere in the Tardis, circling black holes like perpetual plug holes, before the delirious flute follies of standout wig-out Reminiscences paint Pink’s haunting sonic doodles all over your wilting brain cells.

Ariel Pink condenses the Cadillac fumes, odours of roasting concrete high rise and synth sleaze of California down into his most concise and coherent record to date, equal parts disjointed soulful funk, Motown Junk and contorted instrumental euphoria: Pink’s the new Purple (Rain).