PINK LINCOLNS: Background Check: CD

Things started off well enough with this disc and then—yugh—all of the sudden there was the theme song from the odious Friends TV show, sitting there like a finger in my chili. Thankfully, my music critic superpowers kicked in and I was able to overcome my initial revulsion and continue listening with a more receptive attitude. And it paid off, as it usually does. The PLs’ snotty deconstruction of that particular putrid butt-brownie of a song turned out to be funny and deeply satisfying, as did the rest of the CD. This is one heaping helping of the Pink Lincolns. Thirty-two tracks of previously unreleased songs, demos, alternate mixes and covers, which are all over the map, ranging from X-Ray Spex, 999, Flipper and Wire to Elton John and Flock of Seagulls. And they get extra-credit huckleberry points from me for a faithful rendition of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs’ “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” The incestuous blending of punk and hillbilly always produces such wonderfully deformed offspring, in my humble opinion, because they are, underneath it all, both “folk” music. As good as the covers are on this disc (and the Black Flag covers in particular are extra good), the originals are even better. I think my favorite song of them all is a scathing anti-celebrity paean called “Fuck Madonna.” Anyone who attacks celebrities and bad TV shows like a tenacious pit bull—and, at the same time, manages to snot-rock it out as much as the Pink Lincolns do—wins me over every time.

–aphid (Hazzard)