Skip to content

Shocking Pinks – Shocking Pinks

At the onset, this sounds like a male Nico making music inspired by Ian Curtis: a love child with alternating manic and depressive tribulations, crooning angrily to his bloody valentine in an empty warehouse studio.

It quickly also becomes clear that this guy really can’t sing, and we’re talking the Biz Markie of twee, here. Nonetheless, this comes from the fine people at DFA Records, so it must actually be cool.


Suddenly we feel bad for being so quick to judge. What if it’s like the Bradford Cox story? (Cox is the guy from Deerhunter who everyone made fun of, calling him ‘grotesque’ and ‘hideous’ and accusing him of being a heroin addict… until they realized he has Marfan Syndrom. Now everyone loves him and wants him at their parties.) So let’s get the background while the disc plays on…

Shocking Pinks come from New Zealand, and though there is currently just one—Nick Harte—the band has a history that goes back three years, has released three albums, and once boasted three more members. Apparently the full band was a short-lived moment, however; and Harte has essentially run the show from its inception.

As the self-titled album plays on, we become highly intrigued. Harte, having drummed previously with The Brunettes, clearly has an ear for percussion. The drums are quirky, and though often simple and repetitive, they’re very much in the forefront of the music. Several tracks have a slightly more upbeat aspect—moving away from a Joy Division influence and closer to something of New Order. The mood starts to resemble something one would expect on the DFA imprint. The track that sports this most clearly is “Victims,” though Emily and Blonde Haired Girl each give it a pretty good go as well.

By the end of these 17 oddball numbers, we are converts. Not every moment is the right moment for Shocking Pinks, but they have theirs, for certain.


Sign up to our newsletter and get updates to your mailbox