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The Soft Pink Truth - Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Soft Pink Truth?

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Artist: The Soft Pink Truth

Album: Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Soft Pink Truth?

Label: Tigerbeat6

Review date: Nov. 18, 2004

Matmos’ better half Drew Daniel is stepping out again, only this time he's sporting a mohawk sprinkled with glitter. His latest “project”: Nine semi-obscure hardcore covers in the very punk run time of 32 minutes. Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want The Soft Pink Truth? (a play on the Minutemen song) plays as a twisted melding of anarchic nihilism and careless disco, proving this Daniel fellow hits well from both sides of the plate.

Dedicated to the Louisville hardcore scene of 1985-89, a skeleton dons leather, chains and shades while gripping a dagger in the middle of a disco inferno on the album’s cover. It’s a natural continuation from at least one song on 2003’s “Do You Party?” – a cover of Vanity 6’s “Make Up,” courtesy of Blevin Blectum. She stops in again this time alongside Drew himself for the riotously irreverent krush groove of Teddy and the Frat Girls’ “I Owe It To The Girls.” Other hyper-talents making the guest list include star-wardrobist Jeremy Scott (sings across the Rudimentary Peni medley) and Herbert’s diva Dani Siciliano (who straightens up for “Out Of Step”).

Daniel’s cannot-be-fucked-with taste and impeccable execution are the main reasons why his “blueprint” succeeds (the sleeve boasts a physical chart and he dubs the album: A Comparative Analysis of Ideological Positions in English Punk Rock and American Hardcore Songwriting). Vickie Bennett sets the curve on Crass’s “Do They Owe Us A Living?” Her simultaneously anti-futuristic and robotic turn sears above Daniel’s unembellished Ellen Allien-ish trashscape. Overall, Daniel employs much less vocal snippery this time out and the record benefits on cuts like the nuanced dub reading of Swell Maps’ “Real Shocks” (neatly coinciding with the recent reissues). The one exception is his acute editing on Die Kreuzen’s “In School.”

Similar to “Do You Party?,” the record addresses, pokes fun at and demystifies gender studies. Matmos’ other half, M.C. Schmidt breathes new life into “Nervous Gender’s “Confession,” spewing the venomous line ”Jesus was a cock-sucking Jew from Galilee” like a dork-core emcee at a house party slowly devoured by acid jazz. On The Angry Samoans’ “Homo-Sexual,” Daniel chants Don’t like girls, you like boys / living in your faggot world,” a line all the more poignant considering the recent mandate supporting homophobia. It also ties in perfectly to the album’s 48-second closer, Carol Channing’s show tune “Looking Back,” another reminder that maybe we haven’t come quite so far.

In conclusion, the compatibility between the browbeating belligerence of hardcore and the glitzkrieg of techno’s bare repetition is undeniable – and much more enjoyable than it reads on paper.

By Jake O'Connell

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