Dry Clothes For The Drowning

Pinkeye D'Gekko

Independent release, 2004


REVIEW BY: Jason Warburg


Like most of us on the fringes of the music scene, I have wondered a few times what I might call a band foolish enough to let me be a member. "The Suckers" is probably taken. But given my aversion to shock-rock, I sincerely doubt I'd go the gross-out route. I really don't want the first thing people think when they hear my stage name to be: "Yuck."

Which was pretty much my reaction when I first saw the name Pinkeye D'Gekko. What I found inside, though, was at least more intriguing than the name might lead you to expect.

Pinkeye is a sharp five-man ensemble led by singer/songwriter/producer Steve Richards Mahoney, whose approach to music is sufficiently chameleon-like to give some truth to the latter half of this group's name. My impression based on the first four tracks here was Molly Hatchet and Elvin Bishop throwing a party for Meat Loaf -- greasy Southern boogie rock with a flair for theatrics, and respectably well done at that.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

But then we get to "Call Me Adolf During Wartime," which sounds vaguely, disturbingly, like a lost Marilyn Manson number… followed by "The Poet," a freaky Moody Blues-Dionne Warwick mind-meld… followed by "See You Again," cheeky power-pop that seems to be trying to answer the question "what if Nick Lowe joined the Monkees?"

By the time I got to the Stonesy country-rock of "Listen In Love" (think "Tumbling Dice" with an acid twist) and "Slow Down," an homage to early rock and roll that's fueled by the spirit of Bill Haley & the Comets, I was scratching my head. I admire musical versatility as much as the next guy, but what's the thread running through these songs that ties them all together?

In the liner notes, Mahoney says all his songs are about "God and women," and I've read an interview or two where he expands on this thought. But truly, it's a reach to detect the spiritual undercurrents Mahoney claims are there until you get to the closing trio of "Have U Seen The Genie," "The Velvet Fizz" and "Missing." The rest of the time, the clearest thread I see is pure showmanship -- as in, "look what we can do."

Is it impressive? Mostly. Fulfilling? Moderately. Memorable? Not exactly. To these ears, this is a collection of pretty decent songs that don't quite add up. What these guys appear to need -- besides a name that doesn't immediately make people want to call their pharmacist -- is an outside producer to help give their ideas and energy better focus.

Not that I would expect my opinion to have much impact on any band, let alone one that leads with this much flash and confidence (and, I understand, just scored an opening slot with Lynyrd Skynyrd this summer). I just call 'em like I hear 'em. As Jimmy Buffett once said, "It's my job…"

Rating: B-

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