The Shocking Pinks - Dance the Dance Electric
::The Shocking Pinks - Dance the Dance Electric::
this was a remarkable 2004 release out of New Zealand that really did not receive the attention that it deserved. to my knowledge it was reviewed by pitchfork, 75 words or less, and a few other random independent music sights, but by in large it got little exposure. the album itself is firmly grounded in a novel musical equation: dance-punk + dream-pop, a wicked combination that surpasses expectations and conceptual promise. this genre-blend really comes off nicely, never sounding forced, and always managing to effectively balance a danceable high-hat-guitar combo with distance fuzz, instrumental sprawl, and a variety of vocal stylings - ranging from airy and subdued to high-octane-falsetto.
the mix develops by placing the sounds side-by-side in different tracks in addition to containing both elements within a single song package. the latter intra-song hybrids are the strongest moments of the album, specifically in the longer track "affection" and the super-compact "mirror". the former features an initial disco-punk instrumental romp, eventually underscored by a sound of a soft, longing airy guitar. This beginning is followed by a sudden conversion to a straight up medium-paced dream-pop gem and then is completed by a noisy-fuzzed-out-sprawl ending (a la yo la tengo or sonic youth). "mirror" on the other hand is concise and driving - it starts with a base reverbed-guitar line which is soon integrated simultaneously and seamlessly with a fat, hip-shaking bass line. ultimately, the song is very short, but it represents the fullest manifestation of the initial equation and probably creates the most impressive 2 minutes of the album. the rest of the tracks are all very solid, without any significant drop-off, and seem to balance evenly between the two different stylisitic elements.
i'm a natural sucker for quality noisy-'gaze-pop, making this release immediately enticing. but when combined with a very hip edge of trendy dance-guitar, bass, and high-hat, both styles are really taken to a whole new level. in the end, the shocking pinks develop a very intriguing concoction, create a captivating sound-scape, and lay the foundation for a 'dream-dance' genre that i hope is developed even further in the future.
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