Shocking Pinks – Guilt Mirrors

Stars & Letters Records

There’s no question Nick Harte has left Shocking Pinks fans hanging. Following the 2007 release of his project’s self-titled album — a career high point issued via the illustrious DFA and Flying Nun imprints — the New Zealand indie-pop experimentalist disappeared completely leading to years of questions rumours and fears that this was the end. Finally though Harte has re-emerged with Guilt Mirrors and in one fell swoop made up for all those years of the silent treatment.

Comprising 35 tracks and nearly three hours the sprawling triple-album monstrosity that is Guilt Mirrors is as ambitious as it gets making the release more an experience than a simple record. Within you’re offered everything from jangly melodramatic guitar pop to darkened electro to gorgeously teary balladry to industrial noise pieces dance-punk workouts and IDM experimentation.

On paper it all sounds eclectic as hell but on record it’s more cohesive than you’d think with Guilt Mirrors all hanging together with Shocking Pinks’ strange sense of vulnerability and a tone that’s as downcast as it is hopeful — something that may have to do with Harte penning the album while in self-inflected isolation following his hometown of Christchurch’s devastating 2011 earthquake.

Yes Guilt Mirrors is a helluva lot to take in but in the best way possible emerging as a stunning artistic statement that’s going make every other 2014 release feel mighty small.