Wednesday, August 17, 2011

25 Albums. #23: Hot Pink by The Pink Spiders

When I first heard Hot Pink, I was already well-versed in the first four Ramones albums and the Buzzcocks' Singles Going Steady, so poppy garage rock was nothing new to me. Hell, even the snotty (and, let's face it, immature) lyrics were also nothing new. So how could this album have made an impact if its nothing more than a poor man's Guitar Romantic?

The Pink Spiders are significant to me because they're the first band that I became really disappointed with for "their new stuff" because of a slight shift in sound.

I should mention that I'm not normally disillusioned when a band plays around with that sort of thing; if I like a band enough I'll give a new album enough listens until I can enjoy it. But the Pink Spiders were different. I loved their brand of ripping off the Exploding Hearts (the song Teenage Graffiti even includes a lyrical homage to I'm a Pretender) even if it was overplayed and almost gimmicky at times. But they still had this noisy, sloppy thing about them that called to me.

And then they played the same game as so many bands do. They got signed to a major. They got Ric Ocasek to produce. They made a high budget music video. And it wasn't very good. I'm not sure what it was about Teenage Graffiti (the album) that I disliked, but I think the biggest reason was that four or five songs from Hot Pink were re-done for the album when they didn't need to be touched at all. I know that's kind of petty, but I really liked the originals and the re-recordings were such a huge turn off that I didn't even care to listen to the rest of the album (and on the occasions when I tried to give it a shot I just never cared for it).

These days, I like it when a band that I like has more fans because it means that there will be more people who have heard of them and it's something I can use to bond with strangers. I try to stay away from that whole "major label album = terrible" mindset (for the most part) but I really can't get over how much I was upset by the change that this band made. It wasn't even the "major label" part so much as it was that I just didn't like the sound, but I also know that the change in sound was due to being able to afford a big name producer. I was also really hoping that since they were working with Ric Ocasek and on the same label that Teenage Graffiti would sound kind of like Weezer's Blue Album.

Quite frequently, I'll say that a band's older material is better, but with the Pink Spiders I really mean it.
Above is the Hot Pink version of Little Razorblade (with images of the band post-Hot Pink), while the Teenage Graffiti version is below.

I should say that for the record, I still love the band's first EP and Hot Pink but I just don't care much for the rest of their output. They're one of the very few bands I feel this way about, and I think that says a lot since I enjoy American Idiot, White Crosses and even the Red Album. I guess that this sort of means that it was Teenage Graffiti that has had this impact on my life and not Hot Pink. But nonetheless, they were one of the first experiences I've had with truly being let down by a new release, which is how it got its spot on this list.

No comments:

Post a Comment