Record Review - 3 August 21 2003

Snatches of Pink's first release in over a decade finds vocalist/guitarist Michael Rank, the group's only original member, snapping back with an irreverent groove. But just as the band was woefully underappreciated in its glory years, Hyena won't grab many new fans.

Though the record's 11 songs teem with dirty riffs and a glam/punk sensibility, resurfacing in a musical environment that's dominated by a sassy rock revival is ultimately the group's downfall. SOP lacks the youthful abandon — and the contrivedness — that makes the kids go crazy over groups like the Strokes, the Vines and the Libertines.

But remaining on the outside is nothing new for Snatches of Pink. Earlier offerings, like 1989's Dead Men and Bent With Pray in '92 wielded harder edges than most Southern alternative groups of the era, which confused many listeners. Hyena picks up right where the band left off.

The recording presents the most commanding songs of the group's career. "Decline" snarls to life like a lawnmower while "Otto Wood" is a goth-infected jab at the pelvis. The earnest vocal and guitar deliveries in "Nero" and "The Last Invention" come together to prove that this group's impudent leanings are a lifestyle choice not to be disturbed by simple trends. When the craze has come and gone, Snatches of Pink will stand where it is, as it has always done.

Snatches of Pink plays the Echo Lounge Wed., Aug. 27. $5.