2013 Favorites: #5 Pinkish Black – Razed to the Ground
Pretending I have any sense of distance or remove from my friend’s music is a fools game. I’ve never seen more shows from any artist in any single year, nor spent more time with them talking about their music, how it works, what I’m hearing, and how it effects me. I knew the songs forwards and backwards before I ever heard the studio version of Razed to the Ground, and was lucky enough to hear that months before even any promos were sent. They’ve soundtracked my year in a way no band has since I was a teenager.
It’s their music that defines my 2013. Sticking it at number 5 is partially an arbitrary placement, an imagining of hearing it in a world separate from my own experience. It’s a better album than their self-titled debut, which I placed at the top spot in 2012. That said, I prefer the way they play the songs live, the small changes and adaptations that have evolved over the year since the record was made. Those shifts in emphasis, phrasing, and pattern have tightened and focused the songs, making them stronger and more emotionally powerful. Trust me on that assessment; I’ve seen them 20 times over the course of this year, with two more shows to catch in the next 11 days. Razed to the Ground is a great record, but to hear it from the stage is to hear it at its best.