Friday, June 17, 2011

Album Review: Pink Flag - King of Scene EP

Pink Flag's new EP, King of Scene, is a mixed-bag of promising pop punk and experiments that are better in theory than in execution.

The EP kicks of with the title track and right away we can here the good and the bad. "King of Scene" has a bouncy mix of pop, punk, jazz and even a little Broadway. There's a unique energy, but it's diminished by a mix that makes the vocals sound distant.

"Kill Yr TV" oscillates so sharply between driving punk rock and a Latin groove that the listener can never fully commit to either and settle in. I like the idea of these contrasting styles, but Pink Flag makes the transitions much too jagged.

King of Scene smoothes out during the final three tracks. Pink Flag gives us much more familiar pop punk where the listener can spend less time figuring out what is going on and more time rocking along with the band.

Betsy Shane’s vocals are also a mixed bag. At times, such as on "3 6 9," she is a driving, defiant force. Unfortunately, on other tracks, it can be a distracting force, particularly when she over does it with ill-timed vibrato and some out-of-control arpeggiated lines.

Despite all of the flaws, the energy of Pink Flag comes through (thanks in no small part to the crisp drum work of Jessica Caesar). King of Scene isn’t a great record, but it is one that leaves the listener thinking, "This could be fun live."

Pink Flag will play an EP release show at Motorco in Durham Saturday, June 18. Tickets at $10 and include a copy of King of Scene.

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