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Twink - Think Pink CD (album) cover

THINK PINK

Twink

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.38 | 28 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Side A, 5 stars, Side B, 3.5 stars

Twink might sound like a twisted band name whose first (and only) album is a losy gem in UK proto- psych/prog, but it's really John Adler's first (and only) solo album. Indeed the "touche-ā-tout" drummer has been present on the London scene ever since 63, passing through the ranks of The Deep Beats, Tomorrow (where Steve Howe played guitar) and The Pretty Things (holding the drum stool for that band's legendary concept album SF Sorrow) and kick-starting the Pīnk Fairies. Quite an achievement, making Adler/Twink an inevitable actor of the 60's underground scene. So by the end of that decade, Twink gathered in the summer of 69 a bunch of buddies from The Deviants, Tomorrow, Pretty Things and even Steven "Peregrine" Took from Tyranosaurus Rex to make what is a solo album that sounds like a very solid group. Indeed, very few solo albums have this kind of cohesiveness or soul or even experimental/groundbreaking force. Though recorded in mid-69, the album didn't get released until the next year on a red-coloured vinyl disc (now ultra sought-after) on the Polydor label.

Not only does the album title hint at pure psychedelia, but even the bucolic sleeve artwork hints a strong sense of adventure. And the sonic results are way beyond the expectations induced by the sleeve, too. Adler's songwriting (only three tracks are co-written) is absolutely mind-boggling, and obviously, the main musical participants were quite in phase with Twink's wavelength. BTW, Twink's lead vocals are also very psychedelically professional. I can only imagine what kind of awesome vegetables were consumed during the album's construction. The ten tracks made of wild instrumentals and poetry-laced tunes will send you in such a long strange trip that you won't need any substance assistance.

Right from the freaky and semi-improvised Coming Of The Other One's opening note, you know that you're in a fifth or sixth dimension, and it's not Cardboard Box (from a previous Aquarian Age incarnation single) that will ease your worried ears and soul. Yes, your sanity is being challenged, and even possibly attacked, by some of the wilder soundscapes of the era, including soaring and screeching fuzzed-out guitars (courtesy of Pink Fairies' Rudolph) and demented drumming and percussions (courtesy of Adler, Took and Viv Prince). Povey's Mellotron, Wally's piano, John Lodge (Moody Blues) or Junior Wood's bass round up the normal instrumental section, but there are some rather unusual tweaks, sonic gizmos and studio wizardry that impedes on your aural comfort. Though there are some incredible peaks like the lengthy semi-instrumental Fluid closing the A-side, not all tracks are of the same ilk or quality, especially on the flipside. The very percussive Mexican Grass War and Three Litle Piggies are not only over-staying their welcome, but they lack the same kind of interest, probably because it's not a well-thought-out lunacy-laced improvisation. The short Suicide track brings an acoustic side to the album's electric quagmire. Overall, the flipside largely fails to confirm its alter-ego's excellence.

The Sunbeam CD reissue holds a bunch of bonus tracks, all of them except one being different (and sometimes interesting) takes of the album tracks. The sole exception being Good Wizard (part of a previous incarnation Aquarian Age single), hence the whole bonus package is only moderately enhancing the album. The weird thing is that after Adler's most artistic success Think Pink, he seemed to hit a much rockier (read stonier and rougher) road and seemingly failed to capitalize on his 60's achievements in the following decades. He would resurface again in the Pink Fairies and a very short (half-gig) with Syd Barrett. Not much has been heard from him since then, except for a late-80's stint with neo-psych band Plasticland. He's now apparently a born-again religious dude, but that shouldn't let you overlook the man late-60's musical genius achievements, which rank among the wildest and groundbreaking of the era. And this album epitomizes the man's aura, and is one of the era's all-too-forgotten gem.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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