Pinkeye d'Gekko

Dry Clothes for the Drowning

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Steve Richards Mahoney, lead singer for St. Louis' Pinkeye d'Gekko, has been quoted as saying, "Our roots don't begin with Nirvana, and I think a lot of our fans -- especially the older ones -- appreciate that. Don't get me wrong; we love the music of the '90s and beyond, but some groups don't know the rich history that came before." No one will mistake Pinkeye d'Gekko for a band that is unaware of rock's pre-Nirvana, pre-Pearl Jam history; despite a few traces of alternative rock here and there, Dry Clothes for the Drowning is a nostalgic album that is extremely knowledgeable of the '60s and '70s -- so knowledgeable, in fact, that the band comes across as retro more often than not. The intriguing "Call Me Adolf During Wartime" hasn't escaped the influence of post-'80s alterna-rock, but on the whole, this 2004 release has a lot of old-school appeal -- and that isn't a bad thing because Pinkeye's members are enjoyably good at what they do. Mahoney, a skillful vocalist/songwriter who produced the disc and wrote most of the material, has a variety of pre-'90s influences -- and they range from the Rolling Stones, the Allman Brothers, and the Beatles to Alice Cooper and T. Rex. Pinkeye favor a very rootsy, down-home outlook on "Girls of Arkansas," "River Boat Queen," and "God Bless You Baby," but they bring more of a glam rock attack to the infectious "Queen of Fire" -- and "The Velvet Fizz" and "Missing" have a psychedelic appeal that recalls the Beatles' post-1966 work. Retro-minded groups can, in some cases, become predictable, but that isn't a problem for Pinkeye d'Gekko; Dry Clothes for the Drowning is a pleasingly unpredictable yet consistent effort from the Midwestern outfit.

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