Please allow me to introduce you to Pink Skull.
They are from Philadelphia. They’ve just released their third LP, “Psychic Welfare” on one of my very favorite imprints, RVNG Intl. And it’s gooood. Recently, WXPN’s World Cafe named them one of their “Next” Artists and made their single, “Hot Bubblegum” available as a free download.
This collection of rad dudes, several of which are and have been Philly dance scene stalwarts since before Y2K have taken a dive headlong into the electro-psychedelic gravy under the leadership of a pair of weird “JG”s, Julian Grefe (formerly know as Julien S Process, whose limited release RVNG Mix 2 is a brain-melting masterpiece if you can find it) and Justin “JG” Geller. (I’m not really sure how they did it but there is actually ANOTHER “JG” in the band. True story, bro.)
To borrow the gum metaphor from Pink Skull, if genres are gumballs in a Willy Wonka gumball machine, there is no collection of gumballs too daunting to chew on.
“Psychic Welfare” is a wicked sugary, lip-smacking, mish-mash of no–wavey krautrock, disco–house, and Brian Eno glamisms. Initially, you may find yourself asking, what freaking flavor is this? Lemon? Choco-gravy? Cola-baconburger? Cherry? You might pull the wad of bubblegum out of your mouth to get a clue only to find it’s a slimy thick white knot instead of all the little yellow, blue, and red spheres. This is the essence of “Psychic Welfare“, made up of familiar elements, but turned into something altogether different than the parts that make it up.
Song titles like “Bee Nose (Put Yr Face On),“ “Human Hair Disco,” “Salamander” offer little in the way of clues as to what you’re gonna get. But, this is all part of the Willy Wonka Dance Party Pink Skull are inviting you to. Don’t be afraid to put a fistful of gumballs in your mouth at once. It’s good. Trust me.