The Pinker Tones are a Spanish DJ duo made up of Professor Manso and Mister Furia. They are best known for their killer live sets and danceable electronic albums such as Million Colour Revolution and Wild Animals. With their fourth studio album, Modular, out today on Nacional Records, The Pinker Tones venture into a more indie-rock-oriented territory not taken on previous releases. The group brought along drummer Robert Guibiaqui to play on the entire album as well as for their tour.
While at first it was difficult to absorb Modular as a Pinker Tones album, a few listens later the world was good again. The electronic element was not completely lost and the new rock-oriented sounds were enjoyable. However, some tracks were just there and forgettable one way or the other.
The first full track on Modular, “Estirado El Sol,” is the first and best example of The Pinker Tones sounding more indie rock or alternative than what most will be used to from them. While there’s still a bass-heavy background beat, it is the breakdown and chorus that will fool the untrained orejas into thinking this is a Spanish indie rock band. The harmonizing was actually good and the synthesizers meshed will with the guitars. Perhaps it should not be of any surprise given the talent of the duo and the popularity of indie all over the world, but particularly in Spain right now.
The Pinker Tones return to their electronic roots with the English track “Tokyo.” A tribute to one of their favorite cities that they’ve never actually visited, “Tokyo” is a synth-heavy, new-wave dance track ready for European discotecas and Dance Dance Revolution video games. Speaking of video games, “Game Boy Music” is an electronic gem that pays tribute to the popular Nintendo handheld gaming system with 8-bit samples over a danceable, heavy drum beat.
Of course it wouldn’t be a Pinker Tones album without something so far-fetched and off the grid. This time around it was “Friends Around The World,” which sounds more like bad Brit-pop than anything The Pinker Tones would put out. It is a poor attempt at an indie power ballad and will leave many current Pinker Tones fans wondering what they were thinking. Many will also wonder when they will remix these songs so they can get back to dancing again. Modular lacks a lot of the funk and disco sounds of their previous work, but is still a great listen once you get past that. Modular is for fans of MGMT, The xx, Moby and artists like that. For those looking for their best work, pick up 2008’s Wild Animals.