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Record Reviews

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PINK LINCOLNS:
Background Check: CD
Things started off well enough with this disc and then—yugh—all of the sudden there was the theme song from the odious Friends TV show, sitting there like a finger in my chili. Thankfully, my music critic superpowers kicked in and I was able to overcome my initial revulsion and continue listening with a more receptive attitude. And it paid off, as it usually does. The PLs’ snotty deconstruction of that particular putrid butt-brownie of a song turned out to be funny and deeply satisfying, as did the rest of the CD. This is one heaping helping of the Pink Lincolns. Thirty-two tracks of previously unreleased songs, demos, alternate mixes and covers, which are all over the map, ranging from X-Ray Spex, 999, Flipper and Wire to Elton John and Flock of Seagulls. And they get extra-credit huckleberry points from me for a faithful rendition of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs’ “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” The incestuous blending of punk and hillbilly always produces such wonderfully deformed offspring, in my humble opinion, because they are, underneath it all, both “folk” music. As good as the covers are on this disc (and the Black Flag covers in particular are extra good), the originals are even better. I think my favorite song of them all is a scathing anti-celebrity paean called “Fuck Madonna.” Anyone who attacks celebrities and bad TV shows like a retarded pitbull—and, at the same time, manages to snot-rock it out as much as the Pink Lincolns do—wins me over everytime. –aphid (Hazzard)


PINK LINCOLNS:
Back from the Pink Room: LP
A fancy, high production re-issue of Tampa, Florida’s Pink Lincoln’s first studio record from 1988. If you’ve never heard of them before, think Angry Samoans, Vindictives, and split releases with The Queers and Screeching Weasel in the early ‘90s. If that doesn’t help, think of a rusty knife stabbing you in the ear by a bunch of snotty malcontents whose Ramones pop sensibilities are as evident as their unresolved hostility issues. If songs were cars, the Pink Lincolns would be spray painted, on blocks, and in a weeded front yard. The stereo would work and there’d be a functioning BBQ where the gas tank used to be. Life’s pretty shitty, and it gave the Pink Lincolns a lot to sing about. A welcome reissue. –Todd Taylor (Jailhouse, www.myspace.com/pinklincolns)


PINK NOISE, THE:
Greedy Heart: LP
I see what these guys are going for, some kind of post-whatever new wave art rock, but it’s not happening for me. Wandering drums and atonal guitars drown in psychedelic effects while a vocalist with a grudge against the natural cadence of human speech sort of talks indifferently about arty things. Occasionally, there’s some mildly engaging synth weirdness. I get the feeling that this is supposed to offend my pop sensibilities, but I’m left feeling as bored as this guy sounds. There must be people who live and die by this kind of music, but I don’t see the point.  –Indiana Laub (Skrot Up, skrotup@yahoo.com, skrotup.com)


PINK RAZORS:
Scene Suicide: CDEP
Oh yeah. Fuck yeah! This band is from Richmond, VA, where I grew up. This record almost makes me wish I still lived there. It totally reminds me of the glory days of Avail, but doesn't really sound too much like them. It's more like Dillinger Four or Tired of You-era Scared of Chaka. It's fucking excellent. Great lyrics: my favorite is the song "Dear Jurisprudence," about the shitty urban sprawl that's been fucking up Richmond the past few years (hey guys, you're not alone, that shit is happening everywhere). Great production and I'm really stoked to see this on Robotic Empire. It's nice when a label doesn't just stick to one kind of music ‘cause this thing is awesome and I think I might glue my CD player shut with this in it. I cannot possibly give this record a higher recommendation. Just go fucking get it now! –ben (Robotic Empire)


PINK RAZORS:
Waiting to Wash Up: CD
I want to like this record more than I do, and I can’t put my finger on it. It’s got that fuzzy sweater on fire charm of Dead Things, the raygun happy zapping (but they’re really sad) of Screeching Weasel, the watertight, seamless quality of Funeral Oration—pop punk’s the score and they’re navigating adeptly through a maze on wheels of prior invention—but there’s something… something not there for me. And it’s not a, “Oh, the production blows,” or “That dude’s voice sound like a twelve-year-old girl’s,” or suckin’ “high school sweetheart left me, whoah, whoah” lyrics. Maybe it’s just that it’s fifteen songs that could easily be just one with fourteen short beaks, but that’d mean I’d have to rule out the Ramones, and I’m not about to do that. So, at this point, I’m gonna say pass, but it could easily turn into a thumbs up if that one thing clicks into place. Huh. Weird. –Todd Taylor (Robotic Empire)


PINK RAZORS:
Waiting to Wash Up: CD
I want to like this record more than I do, and I can’t put my finger on it. It’s got that fuzzy sweater on fire charm of Dead Things, the raygun happy zapping (but they’re really sad) of Screeching Weasel, the watertight, seamless quality of Funeral Oration—pop punk’s the score and they’re navigating adeptly through a maze on wheels of prior invention—but there’s something… something not there for me. And it’s not a, “Oh, the production blows,” or “That dude’s voice sound like a twelve-year-old girl’s,” or suckin’ “high school sweetheart left me, whoah, whoah” lyrics. Maybe it’s just that it’s fifteen songs that could easily be just one with fourteen short beaks, but that’d mean I’d have to rule out the Ramones, and I’m not about to do that. So, at this point, I’m gonna say pass, but it could easily turn into a thumbs up if that one thing clicks into place. Huh. Weird. –Todd Taylor (Robotic Empire)


PINK RAZORS:
Self-titled: 7"
I like to make up games to play with myself. The latest is seeing if I can straighten my bedroom before this three-song record ends. Will a receipt on the floor distract me? Will the needle lift up before the last song ends? I usually get too amped up on these guys’ Dillinger 4-ish pop punk to focus on much save for pacing the apartment, speaking gibberish at the cat. The recording here is a little rougher than that on their latest full-length, which adds some much-appreciated grit to their sharp, melodic sounds. Also, they might be playing a tad slower, or maybe the 7” format allows the listener to focus on the individual tracks, but I am also detecting an element of British punk like Stiff Little Fingers here. New game: can I write an objective review of my friends’ band? CT Terry –Guest Contributor (Rorschach)


PINK RAZORS:
Leave Alive: 12”EP
Honest, emotional pop punk from this former Richmond, VA, four-piece, and now dispersed between Richmond, Bloomington, IN, and Tucson, AZ. Male and female vocals trade off between tracks. Songs sung by newest member, Erin Tobey have a familiar sound to them, familiarity without mimicry, however. The easiest point of reference is likely Discount, but there is much more going on here than just tracing over points plodded out previously by Alison and co. A rollicking instrumental, “Clouded,” is a nice touch and is followed by the very Vena Cava-esque “No Secrets.” Erin shares vocals and guitar duty with Jeff Grant. Jeff’s songs are fine, though a little more straightforward pop punk (in the DIY school of pop punk that is—think Shorebirds) and a little less dynamic, less remarkable, showing Erin to be a truly inspired addition to the band. I look forward to new releases and more incorporation of Erin’s voice in the mix. Nine tracks in total here, released on Houseplant Records, a label created by Jeff and Erin. Definitely worthy of multiple listens. Recommended for fans of Superchunk, Discount, and Vena Cava. –Jeff (Houseplant)


PINK RAZORS:
Leave Alive: CD
Fun, zippy, revved-up poppy punk, and at nine tracks the record was far too short. I think that this is one of those occasions in which a band’s name really does reflect the tunage…Pink Razors are sharp and cutting but there’s an element of frivolity and panache at the same time. Well done. –The Lord Kveldulfr (No Idea)


PINK REASON:
Throw It Away: 7”
Either a Joy Division-y mood vibe with Lou Reed slide guitars (33 speed) or a higher pitched singing moody acoustic-y guitar lots of effects on the voices (45 speed). Pretty catchy and dreamerific either way. I honestly can’t tell and Criminal IQ always has cool, freaky, unexplainable bands. By the end of their three songs I feel in the territory of the Residents. Did I mention keyboards? –Speedway Randy (Criminal IQ)


PINK REASON:
“Borrowed Time” b/w “Scared Shitless”: 7”
Music to watch bulldozers move mountains of trash to as crows peck at filled diapers. Music that’s so consumptive that it almost elicits a smell. It’s all coming from behind a veil of deep static, especially “Scared Shitless.” The static is its own instrument, modulated, put in front, simultaneously abrasive and melodic. That brings to mind The Jesus And Mary Chain and The Birthday Party in snips and snatches—but in a way that sounds like the Functional Blackouts had flipped their van in a snow bank over those other bands’ songs, and are crawling out of the wreckage. Cold, slippery, toothy, craven. –Todd Taylor (Self-released (?))


PINK REASON:
Desperate Living: LP

First time hearing this group. I remember a lot of fuss about them in recent years. Walls of distortion and noise swirl in a dingy warehouse, while the drummer wails away, punching holes in the din here and there. “Empty Stomach” has a tuneful quality about it, then suddenly, it’s over and we’re racing full-on with a hardcore burner, “The Song with No Name.” The flipside is a V3 cover, “Your Girlfriend,” which is over as soon as it begins.

 

–Matt Average (Almost Ready, almostreadyrecords.com)


PINK REASON:
Shit in the Garden: LP
Pink Reason is not a shape changer. True, if you pick any two Pink Reason songs at random, chances are they are going to sound completely different. Well, completely different, except that they’ll both sound one-hundred percent like Pink Reason. Because Pink Reason is not a shape changer. Pink Reason is a hunger that consumes sounds and makes them its own, shapes them into songs unlike anything you’ll hear on any other record. Sparse acoustic guitar work collides head-on with walls of harsh electronic noise on “Sixteen Years.” Instruments that I can’t even name (Rusty fences being opened and shut? Amplified wind? Exploding computers?) are paired with sounds that have appeared on vinyl since vinyl first appeared, sounds that come and go with logic and no logic at all, and it’s all Pink Reason, and somehow it’s even more than that. These are songs that desperately need to be heard, but don’t care if they’re ever heard or not. –MP Johnson (Stiltbreeze)


PINK REASON:
Negative Guest List Jukebox Single: 7”
RIP Brendon Annesley. No one should die at twenty-one. If you happen upon a copy of Negative Guest List, pick it up. Brendon was a nasty fucker with razor-slash opinions and that’s a compliment. Pink Reason: modern conceptual art. It’s not just the music, it’s the experience, the entire package. The music’s a pastiche—manipulation, tones, noise. The a-side’s source material is complete re-rendering of The Hussy’s “Wrong/Right.” Think of magnetic tape being crumpled up, Ministry, blips of Digital Leather, and unattended electronics. I’m conflicted because it’s interesting, but it’s also pretentious as all hell. Your mileage will vary, depending on your appreciation of Kitchen’s Floor and the unhinged jaw, aching cartilage of the spun-out Homostupids tracks. The B-side blows. Litigiously. It’s a Guns’n’Roses cover played through ludes and cough syrup. Fuuuuck that. My “favorite” part of the original is that it was faster, thus it ended quicker. –Todd Taylor (Disordered, no address listed)


PINK REASON:
“Ache for You” b/w “Darken Daze”: 7”
Ohio and environs—close enough to be far away. Far away enough to be left alone to form a unique identity and not harvested by the microsecond by whatever style is in fancy, almost regardless if the shiny/fancy shit is on the backs of undocumented souls and decades of great work. I’m thinking Sun God, This Moment In Black History, The Chargers Street Gang, wherever the Homostupids are from. There’s a bleak desperation in Kevin DeBroux; a rust-encrusted, poverty-ensnared, life-is-shit, better-play-music vibe in Pink Reason that I really respond to. It’s outsider music for those without a backup plan. To give you a watershed, it’s garage rock without the comfort of a garage. Handgun in the Laundromat. –Todd Taylor (Savage Quality, savagequalityrecordings.com)


PINK REASON:
Ache for You: 7” single

Must confess, this is my first time hearing this group. I know, I know, they’ve been around for some time, and I do remember seeing the name in a lot of the zines, blogs, and whatever forms of media the kids are talking about these days. So, without that out of the way... “Darken Daze” on the B-side is the more down feeling of the two. Sounds like a mix of early American punk with some bastardized take on the blues. Then they put a slightly noisy spin on it towards the end. Nothing overbearing; it just creeps in and makes itself known as the song unrolls. The A-side, “Ache for You,” is more upbeat musically, though the lyrics and the way they are delivered give one a sense of desperation and confusion. I like how the guitar is up and has this noisy way about it. The playing is urgent and really pushing things around. The way both guitars come in towards the end and ratchet up the dissonance is great! I like this, but I can’t help but think to really develop an appreciation of this band, one would need to listen to an LP’s worth of music.

–Matt Average (Savage Quality, savagequalityrecordings.com)


PINK SEXIES, THE:
Rock and Roll Moustache Ride: CD
Were Pere Ubu gay? Because if they weren’t, these guys are the gay them. Poppier, too. –Cuss Baxter (Wrecked ‘Em)


PINK SEXIES, THE:
Self-titled: 12"
Label says: “Pink Sexies first 7-song EP originally released in 2001, re-released on pink vinyl with one never released song from The Rock N Roll Moustache Ride sessions in 2003. Limited numbered edition of 150 wreckords.” I say, praise them for reintroducing this to the public. Feels reminiscent of old Black Randy ‘70s punk: soooo desperate, strained vocals, and popping punk hooks. It’s great. But it’s better than just fitting into an old punk sound. They feel like they came upon their anxiety naturally, blowing out frustration with the band. The post-it note says “Knoxville, TN” and that sounds like a great place to feel trapped in, needing to blast out. Cool wreckord you should check out. –Speedway Randy (Wrecked 'Em)


PINK SMOKE:
No Party: Cassette
Some great mid-tempo punk residing somewhere between the good company of Marked Men and Bad Sports. Coincidentally or not, these songs also happen to be recorded by Mark Ryan and Jeff Burke of Marked Men. That’s not to say these fellas can’t rely on their own merits, no sir. The songwriting seems to reach the level of outstanding on the second side when traces of the Dead Boys’ menacing punk anthems are woven into their already infectious style. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Pink Smoke because I know it’s only a matter of time before they’re offered a proper release. –Juan Espinosa (Jolly Ronnie, kurtbaker.bandsonabudget.com/pinksmokeband)


PINK SWORDS:
Shut Up & Take It: CD
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no saint and that some—nay, most—of the bands I’ve been in have been, at times, quite un-PC. I am also open-minded enough to say these guys are laying down some pretty solid rock/punk here. That said, I think depicting women’s faces and genitalia as urinals is a bit much. In fact, I think it’s pretty fucked up. I’m in no way in favor of censorship and wholly believe that if the intended message they’re trying to convey is that women are equal in worth to something you piss into, then more power to them; but if that IS their intended message, I hope any women currently involved, or who have the potential to be involved with these guys, make note of this, as it is pretty obvious from the artwork on this that they have some pretty deep seated issues. I would also to venture a guess that the moniker they’ve chosen is more than just a clever name. –Jimmy Alvarado (Gearhead)


PINK SWORDS:
One Night High: CD
What do you get when you take the dirt out of trash rock? This. I don’t know if it’s in the recording, but it just comes across so clean. There could be something there, but I lose it in the sterility. This makes me think of office girls going out for a night on the town and so they trade in their suit-dress for a mini skirt and a spiked bracelet thinking that they’re so bad. However they do thank some awesome bands that you should check out if you haven’t yet: Riverboat Gamblers, The Ends, and the Motards. –Megan Pants (Mortville)


PINK TURDS IN SPACE:
The Complete: CD
Honestly, I know fuckall about this band outside that they were from Belfast and they appear to have started out in the mid-’80s and managed to survive into the early ‘90s. What I do know is that they cranked out some serious thrash that seems to carry the DNA of both the U.K. anarcho-punk crowd and U.S. ‘80s hardcore, with a dash of metal guitar to add a little personality. The lyrics are angry yet laced with a bit of sarcasm around the edges; the tunes are fast ‘n’ furious and tight as hell. In addition to what I’m guessing from the title is their entire oeuvre presented on once CD, you get a thick booklet with lyrics, pictures, flyers, and interviews culled from various fanzines and other sources. –Jimmy Alvarado (Anti-Society, antisocietyrecords@yahoo.co.uk)


PINKERTON THUGS, THE:
The Pain and the…: LP
The Pinkerton Thugs have been making thinking-man’s street punk for almost twenty years now. Their music isn’t flashy. Their album art isn’t flashy. Hell, nothing they do is particularly flashy, which is only a problem because it may be why I haven’t really taken the time to listen to them until now. Then again, it’s their lack of flash that makes them what they are. It’s their roll-the-sleeves up and just fucking rock approach that makes them worth listening to, and if it takes a bit too long for some nerds like me to catch on, then so be it. They’ll keep doing their thing, and if you don’t listen, then it’s your loss.  –MP Johnson (Jailhouse)


PINKEYE:
Self-titled: 7”EP
It’s Jonah and Damian of Fucked Up’s side project. What’re you expecting? An all-instrumental tribute to Godspell, featuring dueling theramin, glockenspiel, and accordion? It’s hardcore and it’s much better than worthy of your attention solely because it features members of an awesome band: gritty, ADD-laden songs, more tuned to velocity and interested in killing jocks than Fucked Up. But, shit, if it doesn’t just flat-out rip with approved-by-Slayer solos, lyrics that read like laundry list of high school fantasies (highlighted by the aptly titled “In Praise of School Shooters”), and details taking acid while playing Dungeons and Dragons. It’s much better than I thought it’d be. Canada scores again. –Todd Taylor (Slasher)


PINKOS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Political punk that goes far beyond the empty slogans parroted by many. Instead, the Pinkos present their ideas with an informed background, and it shows in the lyrics as they read like stories and conversations. Think of the Dead Kennedys in this aspect. Musically they keep it simple with only two instruments: guitar and drums. They’re catchy, solid, and interesting, as they stay away from the usual stimulus. As you may have gathered, the Pinkos are not your typical punk band. Which works in their favor, and yours, all the more. Have a listen. –Matt Average (Empty)


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