I was a little weary of Revelation Records after their last album, Call Me Lightning’s “The Trouble We’re In”, really failed to impress me. However, I have a feeling that Revelation’s stock is rising, specifically because of their release of two albums: this album, as well as the new The Plot to Blow Up The Eiffel Tower. I knew that this album had to be good after the first few minutes it played in my computer, as Pitch Black’s very-psychedelic influenced style, ironic as it is on an album entitled “This Is The Modern Sound”, was exciting. Continuing a solid type of sound with “Lovelock”, the new-rock (in the style of Interpol and The Strokes) continues with “The Veracity of Baggage”. The style of music, again bucking the ”Modern Sound” title, seems more fitting in the late-seventies, coincident with the punk movement (present in bands as diverse as Gang of Four, Mission of Burma, and even Suicide).
The continued presence of Jeremy’s synthesizers throughout the majority of “Modern Sound” provides listeners with something solid to grab onto, which is actually quite light a lifeline considering the average far on the disc differs so much from each other that one can easily become lost. “Maze Of One Ways” moves a little bit more into the current age, while still keeping the synthesize. The track feels more like “Absolution”-era Musa, replete with tremendously thoughtful drum arrangements. Throwing a little be of intensity and anger into their “Screaming Song”, Pitch Black attacks their audience and do not let go until the listeners are properly mauled. Using a multi-part harmony for the first time during the track, Pitch Black shows that even two-thirds through the disc, a band can successfully and in stride incorporate completely new trills.
Moving into the realm of differing arrangements and staggered sounds for “The Monkey Song”, Pitch Black survive the track with yet another notch in their belt, showing that they have the ability to tie together differing sections with ease. Exciting at all facets of the disc, Pitch Black is a combination of seemingly incompatible elements – the snotty vocals of Martin and Kevin mixing with the very retro keyboard stylings of Jeremy to create something that really hasn’t been done much in the modern era. Perhaps this is what Pitch Black was talking about when they talk about the “Modern Sound” in the album cover; by mixing two older genres, they are able to create something new and exciting.
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Pitch Black – This Is The Modern Sound / 2005 Revelation / 13 Tracks / http://www.themodernsound.com / http://www.revelationrecords.com / Reviewed 05 March 2005