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The Pink Spiders

Sweat It Out

(Adrenaline; US: 23 Sep 2008; UK: Unavailable)

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.


Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and many more. Evan has been a guest on HuffPost Live, RevotTV's "Revolt Live!", and WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album, and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.

The Pink Spiders - Gimme Chemicals

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