Bernie Pink. Photo: Nathan Kiergaard
Even within the psych genre, Bernie Pink is unlike any other psych band you’ve ever heard. Full of chaos and structure at the same time, the four-piece seems to take the genre as literally as it gets while making some of the most diverse music you can hear. On their new EP Fiesta Elementary, produced by popeNQM, Bernie Pink makes music that sounds like it’s coming from an insane asylum, and I mean that in the best way possible. Found exclusively here before its release on April 29, Bernie Pink should make you feel like you just took mushrooms, or at least, make you want to.
Opening with what starts as a soft acoustic jam, “Isolation” offers the closest to a mainstream sound that the band makes. Before you know it the song brings in grungy, acid-laced guitar while staying straightforward in its approach. Once the chorus hits, things start to take a different shape, offering multiple vocal tracks and a hallucinogenic mixture of chaos. They keep up the intensity on the following track, “Punk Song,” but with a faster pace, still managing to keep things on the outside of the genre. Multiple guitar tracks and ferocious sounds from every direction fill your speakers like something from a horror film. This trend of mixing multiple tracks with crazed intensity continues two tracks later on “My New Face” with a sound as if it’s being performed on stolen gear outside a gypsy camp. Things are only amped up even further on “Lazer Rabies,” and popeNQM takes things to another level on this one while the band keeps things on the higher side of crazy.
Closing the EP off with the endearing yet still manic sound of “Duet,” there’s something in the water that this band drinks that must make them take such a different and intriguing approach to crafting songs. Complete with strings, dual vocals and handclaps, Bernie Pink proves that psych can always get stranger. The way the band seems to always sound like they’re about to go over the edge of a cliff is something that shouldn’t be lost on anyone listening to this album.
You can hear Bernie Pink live when they perform at the Planned Parenthood Benefit show at The Secret Group on Saturday, April 15. Or you can grab your own copy of “Fiesta Elementary” when they perform at their EP release show on April 29 at D&W Lounge. The 18 & up show has sets from Black Lodge, popeNQM, Ballerino, and Lagmind, with doors at 8 pm for the free show.