What happened to the Pink Spiders? The Nashville trio of Matt Friction, Jon Decious, and Bob Ferrari were supposed to be huge. After all, their 2006 major-label debut Teenage Graffiti was produced by Ric Ocasek, it featured a killer single by the name of “Little Razorblade”, and the group was about as accessible and poppy you could get without delving into (shudder) full-on Jonas Brothers territory. Though the Spiders find themselves on a smaller label with Sweat It Out—their latest—the size of their choruses has remained exactly the same: huge.
“Truth or Dare” is one of those giddy six-string ringers that recalls Fountains of Wayne at their rockingest, “Gimme Chemicals” might as well have been released at the height of the Britpop phenomenon, and the almost ska-like “Settling for You” marries self-deprecating lyrical themes to the most upbeat of lyrical harmonies. It’s not all a bubblegum knockout though (“Falling With Every Step” is as half-baked a Big Star song as there ever was), but when Friction asks “how can I trust a bridge if I didn’t build it?” on closing jaunt “Mrs. Ruston”, it feels as if the band have answered their own question: they’re building themselves back from scratch, and for something as volatile as sugary guitar pop, The Pink Spiders’ bridge is as sturdy as its ever been.