Friday, August 15, 2008

Psycotic Pineapple – Where’s the Party

I believe that Greg Turner (Angry Samoans) described Psycotic Pineapple (yes, it was spelled that way) as the Sha Na Na of garage rock bands. And, while I loved this band, I wouldn’t say that was completely inappropriate. These cats knew their stuff, but they weren’t afraid to kid around and make fun of everything while stealing Sonics’ riffs! But just the fact that they knew who the Sonics were at this time made them appealing, but they also knew how to write some damn cool tunes.

The intro to this, their only album, is a truly wild ride in “Hang On For Your Life”, a Farfisa-driven slice of fast, loud and snotty garage punk – a real mix of garage, punk and new wave. A little less frantic, “The Devil Has Work For Idle Hands” (they liked long song titles!) is still more heavily organ-dominated garage with cool lyrics and a memorable melody – and even “spooky” satanic laughter!

The cleverly titled drug-song “I Forgot Who I Forgot Who I Was” follows and is completely silly with almost over-the-top cartoonish singing, though still maintaining hip guitar licks, a catchy melody and a real song structure.

The keyboards leading off “I Wanna Wanna Wanna Wanna Wanna Wanna Wanna Get Rid of You” sounds exactly like a kid’s show – in fact, considering the intro homage to Alvin and the Chipmucks, that might be the show! The band throws in an absurdly over-the-top heavy bridge section before returning to the silly keyboards. But then they add a rockin’ fuzz guitar break! Schizophrenic doesn’t begin to describe these guys!

Heavy almost to the point of Black Sabbath-ism is “The Saw”, which, if it wasn’t quite so goofy, should have been the theme song to the current horror movies of the same name! It turns into a frantic punk rock race to the end of its length of a couple of minutes!

Side one finishes with their ode to “Head Cheese” (maybe influenced by Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s reference to the same delicacy?), which is a piano/vocal joke tune. Funny, but not much of a song, really…

Back to the garage punk-pop as side two opens with “Sabrina” – another celebration of 60’s pop culture and another singalong song. “She’s Boss” is a fun, bubblegum romp – it almost sounds like something the Archies would have done!

I can forgive these guys for their take on “You’re Gonna Miss Me” because at this time it wasn’t one of the world’s most covered songs. It’s now hard to believe that few people even knew this song in 1979! Of course, it was still legendary among critics and music fanatics, but not the general populace. PP actually do a credible version and seem to be reasonably serious – there’s even a cool, feedback drenched guitar solo.

Retaining their goofiness but adding a Balloon Farm-styled fuzz guitar riff and wild solo, “Drop Out” is another hip tune with a cleaner Farfisa break before returning to the screaming fuzz!

The record ends with “I Want Her So Bad”, a great, energetic garage rocker with alternating vocals in the verses and loud, group vocals on the chorus. This could easily have come out of a Pebbles compilation and no one would think twice.

Some people think that these guys were a little over the top, but if you like a sense of humor with your 60’s garage, check ‘em out!

Also, bassist/frontman John Seabury, who created the Pineapple Man character, has a website – check it out!