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Shocking Pinks
Shocking Pinks
DFA Records

As DFA Records’ latest uber-hyped phenom for the ulta-hip crowd, the Shocking Pinks have a few months worth of leaked mp3s, vinyl whispers and blogosphere hysteria to live up to. And with their US debut culled almost entirely from previous (import-only, but available via Amazon and elsewhere) albums, this self-titled disc could have easily been a warmed-over, disembodied dud. But the Pinks’ tunes, even in a newly refashioned form and orders, work like a sacred mixtape from the most underground kid at the lunch table.

“Second Hand Girl” twirls ephemeral guitar (tremolo variations on the Kevin Shields’ signature effected chords) into a throwaway garage rock aesthetic to beatific effect. The No-Wave shudder of percussion-intensive “SmokeScreen” creeps and cowers like a seedy alleyway chant of endless strung-out New York city nights. “This Aching Deal” plays out like New Order confined to four-tracks and second-hand guitars.

At other times the group plumbs the depths of fuzz-pop (“Emily”), eerie piano dirges (“23”) and post-Velvets, post-Jesus and Mary Chain distortion-prone acid folk (“You Can Make Me Feel Bad”).

Though the disc sometimes suffers from it’s hodge-podge thrown together vibe, the Shocking Pinks’ sound is based around a series of disconnects and dissonances, making aesthetic distance from track to track simply an amplification of the group’s style. On the road-rash scorcher of “Blonde Haired Girl,” Nick Harte’s calm collective voice seems to be oblivious to the thrash noise bombast laying waste to the backing track: his vocal melody becoming both disconcerting for it’s indifference and hypnotically beautiful.

Favorite Track: “This Aching Deal”

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Christopher j Ewing is a writer and filmmaker living in San Francisco with a girl and a designer dog (Chihuahua vs. dachshund). He is in a band by himself and has a myspace account ( and a production company ( for freelance film and crit/journo work.

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