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Pink Swords - Shut Up & Take It (Cover Artwork)

Pink Swords

Pink Swords: Shut Up & Take ItShut Up & Take It (2005)
Gearhead Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: SloaneDaleySloaneDaley
(others by this writer | submit your own)

A great deal of the punk rock population would probably agree that punks and punk music have certain moral codes and ethics that they stand by. To some it might even seem that that is how it always was. Yet, in reality things such as veganism, DIY ethics, straight-edge, environmental activism and st.


A great deal of the punk rock population would probably agree that punks and punk music have certain moral codes and ethics that they stand by. To some it might even seem that that is how it always was. Yet, in reality things such as veganism, DIY ethics, straight-edge, environmental activism and strongly defined leftist political stances were after-the-fact developments largely (but not exclusively) brought on by the advent of American hardcore. In reality, punk's forebearers, bands such as the Stooges and the Ramones were a musical revolution designed to strip rock music down to its basic principles. Carrying the torch for no frills rock'n'roll comes Pink Swords (what a great band name) with their sophomore full-length, Shut Up & Take It for Gearhead Records.

The album artwork could be taken as somewhat sexist having half-naked women with toilets in place of heads and taking plungers to the face. It is effectively striking though and appropriate for the kind of dirty, sexy, in-your-face antics contained within the recorded material. Seems kind of strange to give allowances on artistic merit for something associated with music based around instant gratification, but it works.

The real focal point of the record is around vocalist Stink Ray's sloppy and maniacal delivery, but all the members pull their weight. When a lot of records tend to leave the bass in the background it is really refreshing to be able to distinctly hear the basslines without having them drown out everything else. The best example of this is the thundering bass on the opener "Tough Shit." The album could however use a heavier/dirtier recording on the drums. The drumming is by no means bad, but on a track like "Give It to Me" the drums play a pivotal role and it comes off as sort of weak due to the recording. That song still remains one of the strongest on the album due to Stink Ray, as well as the impressive guitar and piano battle that occurs. While I've noticed in recent years an increased use of organ in bands, it is still regrettably rare to see bands properly using the piano as a true rock'n'roll instrument. A song like "Things You Say" channels the ghost of the Dead Boys in its slow but steady rhythm and simple guitar parts but adds short squealing guitar flourishes. Those are the type of little things that make already good songs even better.

I must admit, a good amount of the time I have no idea what the vocals are actually saying. I wager to say that it isn't that important compared to the overall feeling, which is saying a lot considering I have a bias toward well-written lyrics. If the overall feeling wasn't such a raunchy kick in the teeth it would just mean this was shitty, but you can hear Stink Ray clear his throat and spit on "No Rock N Roll."

These Texans exhibit the sort of passion and grit that the new Riverboat Gamblers record so sorely lacked. I'll take Swords for 100, Alex.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
TheKid (December 20, 2006)

Kid here from Pink Swords. I think it's pretty ridiculous that so many have commented about the artwork without even mentioning the music. But, oh well. The artist is Rob Jones. He's a regular bad-ass and he's done artwork for many kick-ass rock bands. We were honored to have him design our record. I think the cover art came from some silly photo off the internet. I guess he ran with the toilet/restroom theme which was perfect because we're a bunch of trashy, disgusting motherfuckers. That's really all I need to say... we're motherfuckers. We're called the Pink Swords for cryin'out loud! We're dicks! But really, we love women but we've had our share of people (men AND women) along the way that we wanted to give a middle-finger to. So we called our record SHUT UP and TAKE IT! Basically we dont give a shit if you like it, just shut up and take it. Oh and by the way... our singer's name is Pitts. Stink is the guitarist. But you can call us whatever you want really.

Anonymous (November 25, 2006)

I don't care for the artwork but it's no big deal. You need to stop whining already, if it was a half naked dude with a plunger in his face no one would give a shit.

This is exactly the same as a black comedian making constant jokes about white population and it not being considered racism but if white dudes make jokes about the black population it's a different story.

It can't go both ways, if you consider one thing offensive I sure as hell hope you consider the other side of the spectrum offensive otherwise you're just a hypocrite.

SloaneDaley (November 23, 2006)

riverboat gamblers last record was very passionate....see 'em live and you'll see as well

I thought it was a good record, really catchy, but the one before it seemed to have a bigger kick Something To Crow About i think its called. They sounded kinda glossy to me on the new one not so much a lack of passion but the grit for sure.

feeeding5000 (November 23, 2006)

Eww...yeah, I guess there will always be people saying "boys will be boys" or "they don't mean it, they're just being funny." Then again, I guess there will always be people saying that they were "just following orders". Yep...Unless they're using the art ironically, to show that they're against sexism...in which case it's ok. Still, the band does not give me that impression.

Anonymous (November 23, 2006)

riverboat gamblers last record was very passionate....see 'em live and you'll see as well

Anonymous (November 22, 2006)

Anonymous (November 22, 2006)

actually there are no racial implications. although it's made to look like a drawing, this is not original artwork. i saw the photograph that this was taken from about 4 years ago. i'm absolutely certain it's the same image. the only difference is that the photograph is in color so you can tell that it's a white guy.

also since this image has been cropped (you can't see the floor) they were able to rotate it slightly. in the original photo, the girl was more upright.

Anonymous (November 22, 2006)

It's interesting how nobody has noticed the racial implications either; I mean, the man holding the plunger has darker skin.

Anonymous (November 22, 2006)

"This is so easy for a male to say. i mean give me a break, its a top-less woman with a plunger on her face. If you like the music, you like the music whatever- i know there's nothing i can say or do to change that. Just don't try to defend something so outrightly disrespectful to women."

Disrespect is a part of artistic expression. Challenging our ideas and ideals is what makes a statement worth making. If something doesn't make you feel a strong emotion will it even get your attention? This album cover is actually saying "Stop living in apathy!" By pushing this cover to the ultimate level of mysogyny chauvenism and sexism this album is actually reinforcing just the opposite. Only someone who would consider acting in this way already could be persuaded by an album cover to act mysogynistically. Relax and appreciate what is really being said. Allegory and metaphor are real concepts that have value and thankfully are alive and well. And it seems to me that saying "This is so easy for a male to say" is one of the most sexist things I've ever read.

Anonymous (November 22, 2006)

The cover art is fine. If it was a naked man with a plunger in his face, and this was a Lunachicks record, you wouldn't give a shit. And why is this so wrong, but you think it's super awsome when Leftover Crack advocate shooting kids at school, doing hard addictive drugs, killing cops, shoplifting, and suicide? There's many truly offensive things going on in the world, without you creating problems as the punk police.

Anonymous (November 21, 2006)

HOLY SHIT! a punk cd that has offensive cover art! it's been too long, way too long.

ILOVESCOTT (November 21, 2006)

well, to be fair Alex, I never said this cd sucked, I just disagree with what's on the cover. I never meant to imply that you are a "backwards fuckwad". (you've never given me cause to think so) I just disagree with you when you call this artistic expression.

SloaneDaley (November 21, 2006)

see I'm not really all for titties on album covers type. In this case I'm not completely convinced it is titties for titties sake. It could very well be but I tend to give people the benifit of the doubt. Sure the band could have used a man on the shitter getting plunged, and who knows maybe they are bunch of degenerate pigs. Cover art is important to me and it did lose a half mark for that really for the type of music this is it is extremely well done and that is what the score is based on not how much I or they hate women. If the cover offends people that much they shouldn't support the artist and bravo to them but people shouldn't come on here spouting how much this cd sucks etc. based on the cover. As far as you or I know yes this could be extremely sexist and not about the album title or anything artistic at all, as far as we know. I'm just going by what I know and that is the album rocks pure and simple. Maybe I'm a backward fuckwad that only reviews albums for womanizers and unconvicted rapists, think what you'd like.

Anonymous (November 21, 2006)

this album is great, I picked it up a few months ago and haven't put it down since. The album art is fantastic!

ILOVESCOTT (November 21, 2006)

"I wouldn't go that far but I don't think the band means any direct harm to women persay. What you get with the outcry is PC fascism I'm against sexism, racism, gay bashing and everything of that ilk but when you start taking things so literally you remove avenues of artistic expression. You might not think this is artistic expression but then you'd be wrong."

This is so easy for a male to say. i mean give me a break, its a top-less woman with a plunger on her face. If you like the music, you like the music whatever- i know there's nothing i can say or do to change that. Just don't try to defend something so outrightly disrespectful to women.

Ianw (November 21, 2006)

"my real reasoning for not bashing this record on the cover art though is: I took the cover art just to be a confrontational visual representation of the title. Could it possibly be that maybe the band doesn't really believe in assaulting women? gasp!!!!"

Thats pretty trusting of you. What is the difference between doing something and beliving something? You can't lynch a black person and then say "JK, I don't actually belive in this stuff." Though that is a extream example.

their is a difference beetween being a "Un-PC" and being a Douchbag.

SloaneDaley (November 21, 2006)

Maybe the band is trying to make some kind of statement with the art...kind of like how crust bands always use pictures of the police beating up people. Does this mean they're in favor of police brutality?

I wouldn't go that far but I don't think the band means any direct harm to women persay. What you get with the outcry is PC fascism I'm against sexism, racism, gay bashing and everything of that ilk but when you start taking things so literally you remove avenues of artistic expression. You might not think this is artistic expression but then you'd be wrong.

saint_nick (November 21, 2006)

Maybe the band is trying to make some kind of statement with the art...kind of like how crust bands always use pictures of the police beating up people. Does this mean they're in favor of police brutality?

SloaneDaley (November 21, 2006)

my real reasoning for not bashing this record on the cover art though is: I took the cover art just to be a confrontational visual representation of the title. Could it possibly be that maybe the band doesn't really believe in assaulting women? gasp!!!!

SloaneDaley (November 21, 2006)

this is a great album and for those that denounce them regarding the cover art? it is your loss really.

Anonymous (November 21, 2006)

"The album artwork could be taken as somewhat sexist..."

Somewhat sexist? Are you blind? I'd hate to see what it takes for something to actually qualify as completely sexist to you.

And I don't get why some people justify sexism and all sorts of other "-isms" under the guise of it somehow being some sort of embodiment of a 'true' or 'original' conception of punk rock (see GG Alin, Sid Vicious, etc). Fuck that, and fuck this band; there's no need for this shit in music. You can play bare bones, stripped down punk rock without being an asshole.

Anonymous (November 21, 2006)

what a waste of a band. fuck these lame shit heads

Anonymous (November 21, 2006)

That cover is great.

lol_omg_wtf_nambla (November 21, 2006)

wow, typing don't work tonight. wow...YES that cover's rather mysogynistic.

lol_omg_wtf_nambla (November 21, 2006)

wow...that' cover's rather misogynistic.

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