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Friday, February 6, 2015

The Pink Spiders - Hot Pink

Band: The Pink Spiders
Album: Hot Pink
Year: 2004
Style: Pop-Punk, Power Pop, Garage Rock
Similar Bands: MC5, Mooney Suzuki, A's, OK Go
One Word Review: Speedy Neurotic Pop
Based Out Of: Nashville, Tennessee
Label: CI Records, Lumberjack Distribution
 Hot Pink - Cover & Liner Notes
 Hot Pink - Liner Photo & Lyrics
 Hot Pink - Centerfold Picture & CD
 Hot Pink - Lyrics & Liner Photo
Hot Pink - Back
Hot Pink (2003)
  1. Stereo Speakers 2:35
  2. Teenage Graffiti 2:19
  3. Knock Knock 2:19
  4. Sham On 2:07
  5. Going Steady 1:40
  6. Hollywood Fix 2:29
  7. Modern Swinger 3:04
  8. Talk Hard 2:57
  9. Chicago Overcoat 2:37
  10. Little Razorblade 4:11
  11. Soft Smoke 3:33
Album Rating (1-10): 8.5

Members & Other Bands:
Matt Friction - Vox, Guitar, Producer, Writing (Silent Friction, Oliver's Army, MF & The Cheap Shots, The Dozen Dimes, Intramural, Sadaharu)
Jon Decious Bass (Dixie Whiskey, Caitlin Rose, The Armed Forces)
Bob Ferrari - Drums (Oliver's Army, Dixie Whiskey)
Jason Bullock - Producer, Engineer, Mixing, Mastering
Bo Streeter - Photography
Jeff Breil - Layout Design
Coyote Cospel - Layout & Design
Raf Cevallos - Rhodes, Farfisa Organ, Moog, Melodica, Omnichord (Silent Friction, Comfies)
Jonathan Morrell - Cello

Unknown-ness: I've never heard of this band, but from the 60's vinyl recreation layout, I imagine they are trying to employ the image of a 60's garage pop band. Their clothing style is in their present era, but even down to the fake-record ring on the cover and back, they are presenting themselves as a retro-style band.

Album Review: The Pink Spiders found themselves in the middle of an 11 label bidding war back in 2004, before they were picked up by Geffen. This album has some of those tracks recorded before they found stardom. It is a full onslaught of nervous energy, and jittery vocals with the energy of big garage bands from Detroit. I only imagine the showmanship matched the recorded energy live. After this they had the big major label album, but through a string of awful events, they lost the contract and self-released the third album. 2/3 of the band left mid-tour, but they all reconvened to play a fan’s bar mitzvah in 2010, and have been on the return since.

“Stereo Speakers” bursts through with some aggressive, fast lyrics. The rock energy is equal to the MC5 and Mooney Suzuki. The vocals have a nice snotty, neurotic new wave accent to them, and the melody is whiney to match. The guitars soar in the background at the very end.
“Teenage Graffiti” is driven by guitar and very fast played guitar chords. The vocals again have that A’s quality of rushed singing. The song feels like it was recorded at 33 and played at 45. The chords are played fast on top of one another.
“Knock Knock” starts out with a slow, low church organ. Then the song begins in a catchy, normal paced pop song. Again, the best description of the vocals is nasally, jittery new wave. The drums are pounding where they don’t necessarily need to, as the tempo is slower than their beat.
“Sham On” feels like an OK Go song, with the vocals processed through a bit of a fuzzy effect. The song is a straight up power pop jam, and there is a little sample of a carnival melody at the end of the verse. It is just missing one more section or element to be a solid pop song.
“Going Steady” jams out with an acoustic guitar intro. The song then jumps off the rapid fire lyric and chord progression end, like a sped up Buddy Holly tune. In the second half of the song, they employ a guitar tone that drowns out the rest of the song.
“Hollywood Fix” has a sing-song pop-punk melody. But the vocals are not as angry: just nasally. I feel like this song could have its own dance.

“Modern Swinger” was a single off this album, and their video for it is apparently included on the CD. starts with bass and drums in a dark manner that could actually lead to reggae. But the guitar kicks in, and it becomes a segmented power pop song. In the verse, the music sounds like Weezer, but the vocals are still OK Go. There is a breakdown with just a drum back beat and the vocal melody, still as stressed out as if backed by a full force of instruments.
“Talk Hard” tries to be metal with a slow headbanging intro. The jangly rhythm guitar and speedy lyrics change the direction to be a pop song. The two genres meet in the chorus to be a bold power pop song.
“Chicago Overcoat” is a power-ballad with slow soothing guitars. The style is changed at the drop of a hat into a fast driving pop song. The production of the vocals is a little emo, with call and response shouting lyrics. They are set back in the mix with a bit of distortion over them to not come off overwhelming.
“Little Razorblade” was their big single when rerecorded and rereleased on their big Geffen album. Here it slows things down in a pleasant way. It is bluesy but still overproduced, but is a relaxing melody compared to the rest of the album, with the guitar counting up individual notes. There is still a lot of emotion in the vocals; I can see how this was a sought after band, as I imagine the live show was very energetic.
“Soft Smoke” kicks right in with wailing guitar solos, and we’re back to the Detroit Rock sound and energy. The vocals dribble out of the singer’s mouth in machine gun like strings, yet still in tune with the melody and chord changes.  

Stand Out Track: Teenage Graffiti


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