Four-piece Pinkunoizu have got something on their hands here, but it’s quite hard to know just what. From Americana guitar riffs (‘Cyborg Manifesto’) to brazen electronica (‘Everything is Broken or Stolen’), and pretty much everything in-between, Pinkunoizu have a palette as colourful as any artist, and with it they look like they’re trying to craft a multicoloured veil to go on top of our reality. Surprisingly, they carry off their craft with a great deal of success on Free Time!, but that isn’t to say there isn’t a fair amount the band needs to look towards, going forward.

To highlight the bad here to begin with, if a driving vocal force is vital to your audio enjoyment, sadly, whilst there are vocals here, they take a rather subdued role. That’s not to say they aren’t here, but it seems that they’re more often than not lost in the wash of sound. In truth, dropping them entirely wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world. Whilst they’re definitely identifiable throughout, they do seem to take on a roll similar to that of a cowbell; they let us know when the song has hit a new direction. Take, the wonderful, ‘The Abyss’. Straight out of the gate this song immediately feels like the most rockiest track on the album, and whilst the vocals are innocuous at first, upon repeat listens they seem to be no more than filler. In fairness, later in the track we are hit with a very Lou Reed/Bowie style breakdown, and then Pinkunoizu definitely seem to find their own feet.

The good here, however, is very good. I will stick by my thought that this album should be listened to by all this year. A welding together of different genres, so that if at first you take this album for an Animal Collective clone, a track later you will start wondering where this mind melting bass-line, born out of 90s Kids’ TV shows (‘Parabolic Delusions’), has come from. ‘Death is Not a Lover’ starts off bluesy, and builds itself up along its course with hints of New UK Rock, but ends with something more early MGMT than anything else. ‘Somber Ground’ starts off with intertwining guitars, but throughout it’s duration changes course, taking on board pianos, saxophones, and jazzy drums. For a lot of bands taking on a wealth of genres, the actual band playing can get lost in the maelstrom. This isn’t the case for Pinkunoizu, as they seem to be in the eye of the storm and letting the whirlwinds dance around outside them.

The ease at which Pinkunoizu wander through their first LP’s length is both charming and worrying. With so much going on, sonically, their closest comparison would be a band like Animal Collective, most notably, their sounds from around their Feels era. Whereas every word on Feels was sung through a forceful cry, everything on Pinkunoizu’s album feels a lot less spontaneous, for better and for worse. Where the whole album feels extremely polished and very easy to listen to, the lack of edge to the whole album does feel like a small misstep. But it is a very small misstep, and easily forgiven once the album starts to resonate throughout the listener. This is an album for repeat listens, as what once was a jumble starts to unravel itself, and half of the enjoyment is in the unravelling itself.

To sum up - delicious. Definitely worth a taste.