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Pink Grease - This is For Real

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Artist: Pink Grease

Album: This is For Real

Label: Mute

Review date: Jun. 7, 2004

Pink Grease can induce a sweat, but the schtick stops there. Rifling through decades of proto-glam-punk-rock, Pink Grease romp all over their 40-minute debut LP, but never really exceed the sum of their parts. Those parts aren’t bad (New York Dolls, Ramones, T.Rex, and synth-punk among others) but they also aren’t that fresh, surprising or exciting at this point.

This is For Real starts with a solid enough punch. “Remember Forever” and “The Pink G.R.E.A.S.E.” combine three-chord guitar lines with sax bleats and synth touches that bounce. The Greasettes hoot and holler “Sha-do-bee” in the background, while Rory Lewarne drops some “aww-yeahs” and falsetto shrieks on top of his normal vocal duties. Hands clap, feet stomp, and the party is off to a fine start. Pink Grease can also slow things down, like the catchy Ramones-inspired “Peaches.”

These highlights aside, Pink Grease’s desperate take on trashy, sexy, and over-the-top all fall with a loud thud, ala “I want to fucking die for you / I want to die fucking you…” and other departures into “creaming” and “fucking the day away.” The band loves to testify the party nasty, but it all seems rote on This is For Real. None of the songs actually undo themselves, like the legitimate and lascivious trash of Royal Trux, the Rolling Stones, or No Doctors. There are no rules when it comes to sexuality and Pink Grease sound all too text book.

These days, Bobby Conn handles glam much better, as one who relishes every outlandish ornament, and still pushes his songs out past a simplified idea. Whether ironic or not (I say “Nay!” and then I say, “Who cares!”), Bobby knows his game inside and out. Pink Grease rarely venture out that far, instead pulling together a handful of styles and not pushing any one of them nearly far enough.

By Jeff Seelbach

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