Don’t categorize Chicago’s Pink Frost by the band’s name. While the moniker might evoke a U.K. group famous for a huge pig and a wall, Pink Frost (originally Apteka) employ monolithic guitar riffs, a sludgy rhythmic thickness and, on sophomore release Sundowning, an alt-rock tendency which could put them into arenas and out of mid-level clubs.
Compared to the foursome’s debut (2011’s Gargoyle Days), Pink Frost is now more akin to early Smashing Pumpkins and less like, say, Three Days Grace.
Initial single “Ruins” is the best post-‘90s tune Billy Corgan will never pen, whereas opener “Western Child” has a rolling, thunderous escalation with a churning guitar drone that adds unexpected ebb. Pink Frost proves capable of toned-down tumult during lengthy “Who I Belong To,” which has modern rock radio appeal and probably makes the girls swoon.
But the tangible attractions are notched-up, six-string chords and pounding drums and bass, mixed suitably into moderately grungy backdrops by producer Steve Albini. These higher-octane highlights include fatalistic “Orange Sky Suicide” and “Occupy Within,” where the idea is rebellion starts in the mind before going physical.