In contrast to the vivid hue of their name, Wild Pink's self-titled album keeps to a muted sonic palette. Lead singer John Ross's voice, hoarse and mostly timid, is barely loud enough to hear over the fuzz of the band's dazed pop-punk sound.
The New York trio are in their sleepiest state on "Albert Ross" and "I Used To Be Small," and pull you under the covers alongside them. But in the moments when Wild Pink are awake, they're as vibrant as their name suggests: "Nothing To Show" is a chaotic dance of self-pity, while the buoyancy of "Great Apes" and "Wizard of Loneliness" nicely matches the restlessness of their lyrics.
Ross's mostly disgruntled, references to American life are charming throughout. The subversive image of a ranch-style bungalow with an upside down American flag waving out front comes to mind during tracks like "Broke On" and "Playing Through a Dip Related Injury," which are littered with glimpses of life in various States. Ross's nationalistic detachment is particularly colourful when he fumbles a football reference on "How Do You Know If God Takes You Back?": "Then I said something dumb like, 'the Redskins hate the Cowboys 'cause Kennedy died in Dallas,'" he sings.
Wild Pink doesn't wow, but there's still plenty to like here. (Tiny Engines)