Pink Grease CD review [Mute]

Music Reviews
Pink Grease CD review [Mute]
Jun 15, 2004, 20:51


Pink Grease's official full-length debut recording This Is For Real is listenable to the Nth degree. This Is For Real is custom-tailored to be a pithy overview of the long-term history and many manifestations of garage-rock fashion o'er the ages, all cleverly juxtaposed, mixed and matched and utterly self-conscious.

It figures that Pink Grease is British, as the English's great gift to rock and roll has always been its implementation of deliberate artifice and the proud injection of distinct pop elements into the formats they're appropriating. The Beatles did it and so did T. Rex, Roxy Music, the Clash, Stereolab, My Blood Valentine, Radiohead, etc. And what this lacks in authenticity is usually made up for by accessibility, with great store put in unashamed hooky-ness and the use of pointedly memorable catch-phrases and the like. What's more, reveling in their apishness, Brits feel free to throw in elements entirely foreign to the original genre—both the inappropriate and the jarring—or native ingredients but that stem from chronologically diverse and otherwise the least harmonious sources.

Whereas the “real thing” can often be carbon copied and tedious (face it: how often would you actually listen to a Seeds box set in its entirety?) the Brits' pastiches usually are nicely diversified with lots of neat little twists and tweaks revitalizing received formulae. If you analyze This Is For Real, it's easy enough to plot their sources both old and new. They ain't re-invented the wheel here, BUT they do essay some novel combinations of influences and perform 'em with authoritative energy and modern production wallop. The foremost stylistic curve ball is Pink Grease's use of odd bits of Some Girls-era Rolling Stones (more Brits!) at their most campy, insincere and unabashed. To wit: the exultant shoo-doo-bees in “Remember Forever” and the falsetto chorus in “The Nasty Show.”

Yeah, kinda like The Hives. But really fucking scrumptious anyway. [Mute]

-Howard Wuelfing

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