Pitch Black – This is the Modern Sound

Pitch Black
This is the Modern Sound

Pitch Black has molded an intricate punk-rock adventure with a formula that just works. There’s the omnipresent keyboard parts, fuzz-laden guitars that roam freely, and fiery vocals akin to Hot Snakes. The band’s latest release on Revelation Records, This is the Modern Sound, is one of the better punk-rock discs I’ve heard this year.

Vocals from Kevin Cross have a snotty flair, bearing similarities to Rick Froeberg (Hot Snakes) as I mentioned earlier. “The Veracity of Baggage” rips another page from the Hot Snakes manual with its overdriven shoots of guitar. The short, jazzy instrumental of “Bronze Lady Pt.2” could serve as perfect movie score to accompany a lonely midnight stroll. “The Screaming Song” has no screaming, but it’s angrier than the rest of the material and features a nice addition of gang-style response vocals. Pitch Black balances urgency and catchiness again in the closing song “Executives and Art Directors.”

There is really a sense of minor unrest fostered over the course of the album. These little dark undertones are a nice touch, as keyboard helps emit an “abandoned carnival” feeling (think Faith No More’s “Land of Sunshine”). Thankfully, the keys don’t pop up at random, scatterbrained moments. Keyboardist Jeremy Goody is a dynamic member who constantly makes his presence known, always meshing with the rest of the band.

Initially, too many of the songs on This is the Modern Sound resemble one another, but more listens further expose their identities. Although this isn’t destined to become one of Revelation’s essential releases, it’s very enjoyable nevertheless.