REVIEW: Pink Grease: All Over You
Pink Grease: All Over You [Mute/Horseglue, 2003] (mp3)
Three words? impotent party rock
Let's face it: "(Night Time Is) The Right Time" by Ray Charles is one of the best songs ever. A rollicking soul number that has Ray Charles trading off vocals with his back-up singers, the Raelettes, the track reaches its pinnacle when the vocal spotlight is turned over to Margie Hendrix. When she belts out the first "Baby!" it drips with sexuality and emotion. Ray Charles knows when he's been trumped - he wisely lets her continue with a verse of her own, before closing out the track.
Now enter Pink Grease, who with their third EP in less than a year are still tripping over themselves to find an identity. Longing to be a "party" band, they are on the right track with membership including a sax player and their own trio of back-up singers known as the Greasettes. At times the band evokes the cabaret garishness of Pleasure Forever and at others the party-punk abandon of Black Eyes, however, none of this is delivered with the confident abandon to make it work. The tracks are marred by an undetected hesitation to commit themselves to any particular sound.
The chops on All Over You are present but the execution is sloppy. With a bio that emphasizes their sleaziness, it's surprising that Pink Grease are, frankly, not that sexy. The sexiest music is rife with veiled come-ons, double-entendres and the promise of something indescribable. When frontman Rory Lewarne belts out on the opening track ("The Nasty Show") that he wants to "fucking die for you/I wanna die fuckin' you," there is something immediately impotent about the contrived lyric.
Pink Grease boasts a fine rhythm section and a better-than-average sense of melody, carrying them beyond the current trend that is electroclash and dancepunk. But before they put down their next six tracks to wax, I'd advise them to spend a little more time figuring out exactly what they want to deliver: give the Greasettes a bigger role and discover new words for sex other than "fuck."