Shame Fantasy II
Pink and Brown

by Chad Beck Shame Fantasy II

Odd how one can go back and forth through musical genres and through so many different stages and styles during one lifetime. Take, for example, one listener (this reviewer, to be exact) who was once revolted by instrumental wankery like Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani and Yanni. How could I now be so infatuated with guitar-oriented acts sans traditional vox? Good question. The reader needs to look no further than the unique stylings of pioneers like Tia Carrera, Pink and Brown and Lighting Bolt, the latter two both being Rhode Island guitar/drum duos on the underground Load Records.

Like the masked men of Lightning Bolt, Pink and Brown also don costumes, the maniacal guitarist sporting the pansy hue, and the sloppy, yet amazing, drummer getting all fecal. Unlike the Bolt, P&B tend to be sloppier, owing more to the stonier riffage of Sabbath than the mechanical, mathematical output of King Crimson. Shame Fantasy II plays like a jam session between two life-long friends, which, in truth, it probably is. The surprise is it's actually worth listening to.

Noisy, raucous, loose and vicious, Shame Fantasy II is actually a complete discography of Pink and Brown, including five new songs recorded on New Year's Day, 2003. Only one of Shame's 22 tracks crack the two and a half minute mark ("So Long Special Treat"), leaving the rest to do their damage in commercial length fits of carnage and mayhem.

Pink more often than not attacks his guitar like an enemy rather than an actual instrument, plucking at the strings, bending and hammering them into a cacophonic submission. His playing on the frenetic "Enter Officer, Exit Wound" or "Messy Bessy, Get Undressy," will never be mistaken for Clapton, for example. Likewise, Brown treats his kit like the source of his anger, punishing them with every ounce of his drunken energy. "I Looked Into the Chi Chi" receives its manic feel from Brown's schizoid skin bashing, as does much of Shame Fantasy II.

This one is for the underachievers who aren't afraid to drown out those at the top of the class.

Copyright 2003 Ad Media Inc.