Over the years, Scott Reitherman’s career as a musician has been fantastically reinvented. After leaving his position as frontman of Throw Me the Statue, he took on the persona of Pillar Point, releasing an EP and an album in the course of just one year. Both of these remarkable releases portrayed his skill in creating and maintaining a chilling, murky persona, yet they still managed to feel lush and ethereal, mixing sultry synth with post-industrial sound. On Marble Mouth, Pillar Point’s sophomore full-length album, Reitherman’s monochromatic aesthetic dives headfirst into color, resulting in a focused, yet still euphoric continuation of his past self.
Reitherman claims that Marble Mouth is the “full Pillar Point identity lock,” and the confidence definitely shows, swapping out the unassuming timid nature of his debut with the abundance of risks taken in each track’s construction. Within the first few bouncy, metallic moments of “Part Time Love,” it’s clear that this album would not be timid and shy, but instead filled with outbursts of iridescence – as if it wasn’t obvious enough by the color splotched album cover that completely contrasts against the moody monochromatic portrait plastered on his debut. Additionally, this album features wonderful collaboration with members from chill-wave group Washed Out as well as the quirky Kishi Bashi, which definitely contributes to it’s strong, shimmering composure. Despite this more fluorescent, energetic persona, Reitherman still hasn’t lost the meticulous, systematic skill that went into perfecting stunning tracks like “Cherry” and “Dreamin’,” and a majority of the album reflects this remarkably. “Strange Brush” contains both wonderful vocals as well as a killer synth bass line, brilliantly changing into an emotional confession close to the passionate end. It’s no surprise that textures play a big part in Pillar Point’s particular aesthetic, and Marble Mouth does not refrain on providing them. It’s heard throughout the album; inserting itself in the vocally robotic “Gloomsday” and the eerie track “Playtime,” and especially in the whining, wobbly sounds in “Black Fly on a White Wall.”
Perhaps the most important aspect of this album is the remarkable lyrical and vocal work, and how they flow seamlessly within the energetic instrumentals. The subject of love and relationships (or the lack thereof) no doubt play a major part in the album’s theme, showing it as a constant struggle from beginning to end. Reitherman’s lyrical brilliance and vocal strength shows through exclusively on tracks like “Underground” and the beautiful “Dove,” proving to be the strongest tracks the album has to offer. In fact, “Dove” remains as the shining glory of Marble Mouth, as it seems to showcase the best of Reitherman’s dual personas, containing the rough yet ethereal qualities of his debut as well as the newly adopted color and euphoria he has obtained over the past year. It’s an absolutely gorgeous track, and one that could arguably be the best of his career. After a whirlwind of energy and passion, the closing track “Dance Like You Wanna Die” reminds listeners of the main theme, and shows off Reitherman’s stunning vocals once more.
While Pillar Point was a timid wade into the deep pool of Reitherman’s abilities in the realm of electronic pop music, Marble Mouth is the result of a full submersion. While it is missing the thick intrigue that made his debut so great, there’s more than enough to be appreciated in a mere forty minute long LP, starting and ending with its genuine nature.
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