Ah, the Pink Street Boys. We saw them perform their full-frontal punk rock assault live at Airwaves in 2014, and while I was surprised to hear that their new full length album would be released by the more mainstream label 12 Tónar I figured there was little chance that they’d somehow sold out. And after sitting down to listen to Hits #1 I’m damn well sure of it.
That’s not to say all the songs on Hits #1 are dirty rotten punk songs, because they’re not. The opening track “Body Language” has a heavy dose of psych infused into its garage-style punk rock, and it’s a perfect blend of heavy and trippy and a little bit sloppy (in the best way possible). It’s a sound that carries over into the second track, “Evel Knievel,” as well, and frankly it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise since much of the band’s cassette release Trash From the Boys had a similar feel. While some songs stray a bit from psych and root themselves in the garage rock realm (like the aptly named “Blues”), in essence the Boys stay in that edgy trippy zone that would have made them feel right at home with the subculture making this kind of music in the 1960s.
I was surprised to see a couple of songs on Hits #1 also appeared on the previously mentioned 2014 Trash From the Boys tape, specifically “Body Language” and “Kick the Trash Out” (a third song from Hits #1, “Evel Knievel,” also appeared on the 2014 Icelandic comp Sharl 4). However, in both cases it appears that the versions of the songs differ – those that appeared on the earlier Trash From the Boys sound rawer, lacking in the recording quality of the versions from Hits #1 and more like demo tracks. It’s a bit harder to tell with “Evel Knievel,” which seems to be the same version on both sources.
“Ladyboy” is my favorite track on Hits #1, perhaps because it has a whiff of Motörhead about it, both musically and vocally. Hits #1 is, somewhat amazingly, available on iTunes, so you can go online and give it a listen if you’re interested. There’s also a great video of their live performance at KEX Hostel in 2014 posted HERE, which I highly recommend – KEXP has put out some amazing videos of Iceland Airwaves performances, and it’ll give you a feel for the band’s live sound.