Up the Pinks
is part of Universal's "Introduction" series, so it's not exactly a greatest-hits package. But it does live up to its title, painting a valid picture of early '70s drughead rockers Pink Fairies
as a happily uneven mess of pre-punk noise, weird-beard psychedelia, and petrol-fueled blues rock boogie. "It's rock & roll, and the message is...DO IT!" Twink
proclaims on the acid rock-tinged hit single of the same name, and it's a pretty good summation of the Pink Fairies
' debauched M.O. "Do It"'s equally scabrous B-side, "The Snake," is here, too; its stripped-down distortion chug suggests Motörhead
. "Thor" is one minute of backward sludge, while "Uncle Harry's Last Freak Out" and a cover of "Walk, Don't Run" travel in blurry circles of over ten minutes each, alternating blistering noise with echoing atmosphere and the idealistic lyrical ramblings typical of the age ("Everyone should be so happy/Everyone should be so merry/You and me can be so very free," etc.). An additional run through "I Saw Her Standing There" is noneventful rave-up fun, while "Portobello Shuffle" deconstructs the blues into parcels of piercing guitar and pounding, drunken percussion. Universal's bonus track-laden reissues of Neverneverland and Kings of Oblivion are probably the best statement on the Pink Fairies
. Still, for those unconvinced of the band's prowess as balladeers, Up the Pinks
is a solid collection of its harder-rocking legacy.