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CD Review: Shocking Pinks

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Artist: Shocking Pinks
Album: Shocking Pinks
Label: DFA
Release Date: September 17th, 2007

New Zealander Nick Harte is Shocking Pinks and this CD of seventeen tracks is a remastering and repackaging of two of his previous releases. I found this DIY project remarkable in that the only trace of homogeneity is Harte's voice - the seventeen tracks offer an astounding range of styles and sounds.

Yes, there is a kind of plaintive lo-fi New Order feel to Harte's vocalizations but any similarity ends there. The rhythms of "Smokescreen" bring to mind those of the seminal NYC band Liquid Liquid; "This Aching Deal" reminds me of Luna; "Yes! No!" - Interpol; "Emily" - Jesus & Mary Chain; "Girl on the Northern Line" - Radiohead; and it goes on.

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Perhaps what goes on in the sparsely populated south island of New Zealand is that in the vacuum caused by a lack of scene you are left to your own devices and your influences have full reign without getting clouded by what other bands are doing (since there are only a handful). However it happened, I'm delighted with this result - which admittedly took a couple of listens but has grown on me enormously.

Below is the video for "End of the World":