click here for more
Album Review
Guilt Mirrors

Guilt Mirrors
by Shocking Pinks

Stars and Letters

Review Date
25th February 2014
Reviewed by
Nicholas Walsh

It’s been a long time between drinks for Shocking Pinks whose last release was in 2007. But Nick Harte, the enigmatic Christhurch musician behind the project, has more than made up for lost time, releasing an astounding three part album inspired by his earthquake ravaged home town.

Clocking in at almost three hours, Guilt Mirrors combines disco-infused pop, ambient drone and moments of eery noise collage. While the ambitiousness of a three part album runs the risk of falling flat under its own weight, Harte's worn lo-fi aesthetic holds the album together, seemingly by a thread.

Beautiful and at times nightmarishly claustrophobic, Guilt Mirrors is everything you might expect from an album pieced together in a post-earthquake malaise. Tracks like ‘Hospital Garden’, ‘Few Skeletons’ and the near musique concrete of ‘Hardfuck’ have an undeniable cinematic quality, conjuring up images of a desolate cityscape.

Die hard Shocking Pinks fans needn’t fret though, Harte still knows how to construct a classic pop song. There’s plenty of the heart-on-sleeve love sick pop that he’s perhaps best known for, ‘St Louis’ (which features the voice of Gemma Syme) and ‘Motel’ for instance are more overtly beautiful than anything in the Shocking Pinks repertoire to date.

Guilt Mirrors is a demanding and at times deeply unsettling listen that could be considered commercial suicide in a media landscape where the single is king. Self indulgent? Certainly, but Guilt Mirrors is also Harte’s masterpiece and an early contender for album of the year.

Not Gambling
Not Gambling, by Shocking Pinks
From: Guilt Mirrors, (2014)