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Music Review: Snatches of Pink – Love is Dead

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Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Peter Frampton, Stevie Ray Vaughn — so many guitarists are more than technically proficient –- they have a way with guitars that make the music they produce speak to listeners’ souls. So when you listen to a jam or even just a few unexpected notes in a tune — Jack White’s “The Air Near My Fingers” from the White Stripes’ “Elephant” comes to mind – it’s with a shudder of delight, something akin to hearing a whisper never intended for public consumption.

That excitement is caught in Snatches of Pink’s new album Love Is Dead. This isn’t “produced within an inch of its life pretty pop music.” If you want that sound, look elsewhere. This album by the Chapel Hill, N.C., band led by Michael Rank is filled with fist pumping, neighbors-pounding-on-the-walls rock that has more than its share of casual missteps that only make the music richer. It gives the listener the feel of sitting in the practice room as the band shows off its latest offerings.

“Rocks,” the first song on the disc is actually the hardest-hitting, sing it from your gut, play it from your soul song on the album. A close contender is “High Plains” another blast-it-while-you’re-driving around tune.

“Just a Girl,” is a bit smoother and slower but still has plenty of down-and-dirty, edgy playing and vocals. Think of the Glimmer Twins singing away in their heyday and you’ve got the feel. “From The Sun,” carries on that mood in an up tempo beat (you’ll picture Mick Jagger strutting around singing “Start Me Up,” when you listen).

If there’s a downside to the album — and there’s always something — it’s that some of the songs are a little slow to start. “Smiles” has one of those long lead in that keeps you checking your I-Pod to make sure you didn’t inadvertently hit the “lock” button. “Holster,” is a little too casual for some tastes. That song sounds less like the aforementioned raw, edgy musicians and more like a practice session by some fairly good guitar students at the local music shop.

But all together, Snatches of Pink is a breath of fresh air in the overproduced rock world. Love may be dead, but good rock with a taste of the blues isn’t.

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About Nancy Dunham