Pink Spiders Teenage Graffiti

From the pink and black artwork and fashion, to the band’s name (which sounds like a desperate move to combine two "cool” words that have yet to marry) and the over-polished production crunch (thanks to Ric Ocasek) of their major label debut, there is little to the Pink Spiders that suggests they aren’t the invention of a successful record executive or even some internet prank, for that matter. It’s all very suspect indeed, but in spite of this, if you strip down all of these superficial elements, there is something to the music on Teenage Graffiti that is devilishly gratifying. Their confusion over which heroes to sound like is remarkably focused, combining all of their influences for one big jumble that is far more rewarding than hearing a band try and diversify themselves by sounding different on every other track. With the flash and rock’n’roll punch of the New York Dolls, a melodic swing à la Weezer and an emotional hurt almost as entertaining as My Chemical Romance, for the most part, these Spiders spin a convincing web. A few mistakes are made, such as the horrific turn at a ballad on "Hey Jane” and the nerdy piano pop of "Adalae,” but as long as they keep those guitars loud and ferocious their trashy pop punk is amusing. They should really try and kick the pink and black shtick though — they’re neither as visually stunning nor musically skilled as the White Stripes, and such a vibrant colour combination is bound to fall out of fashion one of these days. (Geffen)