Pink Desert – “They Rose Up With the Sun”

Quality drone from a duo who, like all too many artists in the free-folk/drone arena, want to stay relatively unknown. With two webpages featuring little more than a single graphic apiece, and a barren MySpace profile mirroring one of the graphics, this reviewer doesn’t have much background to give you on Pink Desert.

I know this much– at some point in time during the summer of 2006, PD went “home” and recorded “They Rose Up With the Sun.” For some reason, the Pennsylvanians decided to release it on Nail in the Coffin Records, an Illinois label. NITCO gave it the full treatment, with lovely golden screen-printed cover art; flowing psychedelic cloud-people to match the foggy environment conjured throughout the three tracks of “They Rose Up With the Sun.”

There’s a lot of pedal effect-work here, nothing that Terrastock-goers would be tremendously shocked by, but at least Pink Desert does it well. Sounds aren’t allowed to linger too long before being washed back into the general tide, with a cyclical birth/death image easily coming to mind even during the first cut. Some sort of rattling (fire? box of sticks? small rocks?) also makes an appearance, so it’s nice to hear something beyond the guitars-on-our-laps approach.

The big feature is the second track, with Pink Desert laying the majority of their eggs in this 21-minute basket. It’s a pretty bold gamble for the album, and ultimately isn’t strong enough to merit its length. Pink Desert get some good atmosphere going, but don’t seem to have a whole lot of direction. Better production might have yielded a lot more of the interesting spacial sounds that occur during recording, which would have contributed greatly toward my own enjoyment.

Regardless, I’ll be keeping Pink Desert in the back of my mind. There’s some goodness to this disc, more than enough to merit checking out some of their more current material for comparison.

“They Rose Up With the Sun” is available on Nail in the Coffin Records.

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