The Pink Fairies

What a Bunch of Sweeties

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The best-loved of the original Pink Fairies' three Polydor albums is also, contrarily, the lesser of them all. Recorded in 1972 at a time when the band's own reputation as hippie hell-raisers was already being eclipsed by the soaring Hawkwind, What a Bunch of Sweeties found the band realigning themselves with the twisted Americana rock sensibilities of the latter-day MC5, high on noise but, sadly, low on the blistering commitment that was the hallmark of their debut album. The loss of founding member Twink may or may not have contributed further to the collapse, although there is no denying that, in full instrumental overdrive, the three-piece (plus guests) incarnation of the group was at least as dramatic as its predecessor. Indeed, a nine-minute assault on the Ventures' "Walk Don't Run" rates among the finest Pink Fairies recordings of all time, while the bonus inclusion of an even longer version lends this reissue even greater gravitas. There's also a hot version of the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There," the twisted country opus "Pigs of Uranus," and, rounding off the bonus tracks, a grimy reinvention of Don Nix's "Goin' Down." Elsewhere, however, What a Bunch of Sweeties founders on too many weak ideas drawn for far too long and too much reliance on churning rock jam riffs that could have been peeled off by any half-competent festival bill-filler of the era -- a status that the Pink Fairies should never have been reduced to.

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