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Concert Review: Pinkish Black at Lola's Saloon

Pinkish Black Nov. 25 Lola’s Saloon 2736 W. Sixth St.. Fort Worth www.lolasfortworth.com

Posted 8:57pm on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012

In the audio world, decibels are the unit of measure for noise levels. A 10-decibel increase is generally perceived to be double the volume of a sound. So a vacuum cleaner at 90 decibels is only half as loud as a Harley running with no muffler (100 decibels), and that in turn is half as loud as a jackhammer (110 decibels) — which is only half as loud as standing at the front of the stage at the Pinkish Black show Saturday at Lola’s Saloon.

This was a special occasion, because Pinkish Black just been signed to a recording contract and the group left town for New York around noon Sunday. According to the band’s keyboard player, Daron Beck, the contract was the result of a practical joke by another band.

“We went to play a show for Pitchfork in New York,” said Beck, “and one of the bands [Vattnet Viskar] on that bill was signed to Century Media and basically made an offhand comment. ‘Oh yeah, the label that we’re on, they want us to get y’all.’ So we contacted the label and apparently the guy was just joking, but then he started talking to me seriously about it since we contacted them. It just kinda went from there.”

Pinkish Black has a heavy, ominous kind of metal/industrial sound. It’s a duo, with Jon Teague on drums and Beck on keys and vocals. Although Lola’s was not exactly packed with people, there was a substantial and enthusiastic audience there to see our local heroes off. Pinkish Black shows tend to be loud, and this one was no exception. Out of curiosity, I brought a sound-level meter with me, and at times the band hit peaks as high as 119 decibels right in front of the speakers. The crowd loved it and packed in closer.

Pinkish Black consists of former members of the band the Great Tyrant, which ended after the death of the band’s bass player, Tommy Atkins, in early 2010. There has been such an outpouring of support and sympathy from the local community that the Pinkish Black duo often have doubts about their own music. “When we were in the studio recording our first album,” Beck says, “we were still at the point to where we weren’t sure if people liked it because they liked it, or if people liked it because they felt like they had to like it because of what happened. That was a dark cloud hanging over our heads.”

The acceptance of their music by an audience (and a label) outside of Funkytown shows that this band’s music can, in fact, stand on its own merit. The music industry is filled with tragic stories of bands that were signed, only to never be heard from again because the label never released the material once it was recorded. Pinkish Black’s contract states that the label will release the CD within 120 days of delivery of the finished product, and that shows confidence on Century’s part.

Pinkish Black is to play a Dec. 8 show at Lola’s, after playing New York, Baltimore, Washington, Brooklyn, Richmond, Nashville and Little Rock. Then it’s back into the studio for the next album.

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