Advertisement

Album Review: Pink Neighbor — ‘Time Beach Universe’

  • 81
    Shares

The brightly illustrated Peter Max-influenced pop-art cover of Time Beach Universe, the debut album from Grinnell band Pink Neighbor, gives us a pretty good idea of what lies within. But, it’s not all tangerine trees and marmalade skies — it’s a perfect pastiche of the full variety of 1960s party pop.

The neighborly tone of the record is set at the opening, with the appropriately named “Welcome,” a mission statement wrapped up in a 40-second campfire sing-along. “Welcome to the party, let’s put our minds together and off we go, my friend!”

Then we’re instantly in rocketship liftoff in the form of the distorted guitar riff opener of “Words Are Never Enough.” A Badfinger-esque jam, the combination of electric guitar and acoustic is a time-proven song propellant that lifts the listener to quintessential track three, “Nebula.” No ’60s-influenced record would be complete without a tribute to a dance move. “Do the Nebula!” is shouted Fred Schneider-style over a groove that would make his bandmates in the B-52s get down at the shack.

“Wait ’til we collide / to do the Nebula! / Bring it in all together now / Do the Nebula / Get down with your neighbor now / to do the Nebula / Shake your arms and float it on out …” The pace picks up until its big choral climax, and the frantic dancers on the floor can then appreciate the dramatic slow-down in the form of track four, “Not Gonna Hide It” — a bluesy, harmony-drenched, Dusty-in-Memphis track with an impressive, soulful chorus delivered by Katie In.

Tracks five and six work as a couplet of swinging spacey themes. “Green Light Nights,” a song about Pink Neighbors’ party spot, mixes chiming, clean guitars and surf guitar runs to make a great transition to the album’s sole instrumental, “Ursula’s Fingers.” The reverb-y guitars and stabbing Farfisa organs provide what should be the soundtrack to some long-lost go-go dancing Martian beach party movie. The chorus of “ohs” remind me of David Axelrod’s ’60s albums.

“Out On The Block” follows — a slow, slinky heat dream describing a summer block party. “Out on the block, summertimes steppin’ in / Bring what you got, everyone’s comin’.” The harmonies remind me of “Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To the Canyon)” by the Mamas and the Papas.

Time Beach Universe is a short record, clocking in at just 25 minutes, but the final track, “Meet Me Somewhere,” wraps all the way around again, with its loping Rhythm Ace beat, synths and anthemic sax solo. During my repeated listenings, I began to anticipate the “Welcome” again from my new neighbors as I started the ride over.

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 273.


  • 81
    Shares
Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV » editor@littlevillagemag.com

Advertisement

The Iowa City Human Rights Commission needs you!

Apply Today

@ICHumanRights »

Advertisement

Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.

Regular

$10/mo or $120/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.

Italic

$20/mo or $240/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.

Bold

$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
LittleVillageMag.com connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.

Coralville Public Library Online Summer Reading Programs

For ages 0-99+