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Pink Spiders

In acting "if you become the character you will be the character." Then there's the somewhat related filed of sales which leans on an old adage that gets uttered during every sales seminar. "Attitude = Altitude." Namely, a salespersons attitude will have more impact on success than anything else.

Another place where attitude makes a world of difference is Punk Looking distant and aloof has its appeal. Acting brash and displaying a swaggering bravado is the icing. Calling yourself the "world's greatest drummer," as Pink Spiders' Ferrari does, is a nice touch. He's also known for flipping off an audience.

Then there's Decious' habit of taking a big gulp of beer and spewing it on those closest to the stage. Everybody needs to cool off. The topper, of course, is Friction's take on the classic Chevy Chase line when taunts an audience with "we're the Pink Spiders, and you're not." Attitude.

Nashville is the home of Country music and hardly the place you'd expect to find pseudo-Punks. But that's where Pink Spiders, who dressed in pink and black, started. They got an indie deal in '04 that resulted in the EP "The Pink Spiders Are Taking Over!"

A few months later, the full-length "Hot Pink" dropped. But being a touring indie act did not yield financial rewards. It was a struggle, with the group often crashing in public places, like NY's subways or selling their blood for money. That's a rough way to make a couple bucks for new strings. It also begs the question, "who would want Punk blood - or even power pop-Punk Pink Spider blood? Wouldn't a patient, in need of a transfusion, be better off waiting for a better donor or at least one with a healthier lifestyle?

Of course, nothing with this much energy or basic snot appeal goes unnoticed. The Pink Spiders were named one of the 100 Bands You Need To Know In 2006 by Alternative Press. They were also a highlight of the summer '06 Warped Tour.

Geffen Records stepped in and assigned former Cars front man Ric Ocasek, a guy who knows a thing or two about how great records should sound, to produce.

Ocasek could put together a Cars remnant (like a couple of his former bandmates) and launch an embarrassing tour (playing all those Cars hits). To his credit, the low-key Ocasek chose to focus on new music.

Pink Spiders' major label debut, the cleverly titled "Teenage Graffiti" (they know their audience) was issued in the late summer of '06.

Pink Spiders Discography


2005 Hot Pink
2006 Teenage Graffiti
2008 Sweat It Out


2004 The Pink Spiders Are Taking Over!
2008 Subterranean

Anyone seeking commentaries on the human condition - war, poverty, justice, etc. - should look elsewhere. Pink Spiders' world is what is right in front of them. If that weren't charmingly self-indulgent enough they go further by sifting everything through a guy's perspective.

The message to girlfriends (or potential girlfriends) is simple: "If you don't want me to disappoint you, then give me warning before you come over so I can clean up the mess and get rid of the evidence (i.e. empties, drugs or a one-nighter)." "Knock, Knock" spells it out. Now that we understand each other...

"Hot Pink" is a fun, Punk influenced romp; like sex-charged Ramones. "Going Steady" is a happy sounding, goofy song complete with retro-vocal harmonies and a '60s style guitar solo jammed through a Punk blender. The song has nothing to do with love but is rather a practical decision since the girl says "no more sex until we're going steady." That cuts it. "Hollywood Fix" and "Modern Swinger" show the group's fascination with gloss and the superficial. The closest Pink Spiders get to philosophical is on "Teenage Graffiti" where they pointedly point out that every generation has "got it bad" ("put your money where your mouth is") so get over it.

"Teenage Graffiti" picks up right where "Hot Pink" left off. Even a couple "Hot Pink" tracks get reworked for this effort.

Any worries that Ocasek would turn Pink Spiders into a Cars-ish act are unwarranted. He lets them loose and they deliver. Ocasek does give them a bit more polish which actually helps and does nothing to slow the proceedings.

The great thing about Pink Spiders is that they are not afraid to do silly things, like toss in a '60s style backing vocal ("Modern Swinger") or an '80s raver line ("you're so, so serious" on "Little Razorblade"). They have no trouble pulling it off.

Since "Teenage Graffiti" is a summer release, it seems Pink Spiders are like a major league fastball pitcher. Everything is geared toward going full-bore. Not doing so can be risky. When they deliver the high heat on the brilliant chord driven songs "Soft Smoke," "Saturday Night Riot" or "Still Three Shy," they can't be touched. It's when they try a curve ball, slider or change-up that they get dinged. With the possible exception of the ballad "Hey Jane" every time Pink Spiders back off the accelerator they fall short. "Pretend This Is Fiction" relies on a dense chord progression that lacks drive and fails to gel.

Two ballads, "Adalae" and "bonus" track "The Pink Spider" are piano based throwaways. But these tracks are toward the end of the album. The first ten songs are killers.

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