Friday, May 17, 2013

FDF Volume 4 Issue 304 - Tuscadero - The Pink Album

Album – The Pink Album
Artist - Tuscadero
Key Players - Melissa Farris – vocals, guitar, organ. Margaret McCartney – vocals, guitar. Phil Satlof – bass, piano. Jack Hornady – drums.

Produced By - Various producers
Release Date – November 28, 1994

What caused me to blow off the dust? - For some reason recently I was thinking of this band. Its the lone cd, or anything, I have from them. Saw them live, loved the set, bought the cd. Its been a long time though since I played this one.

Overview – Hailing from Washington DC, and yes, named for Fonzie's (Happy Days) girlfriend, Tuscadero was slowly being built as the next big thing in the early 90's of the powerful female band/singer. After a string of singles the band would release this record, then be signed to a major, and dropped soon after.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The twelve song album opens with “Heat Lightin”. Hornady rolls across the drums before the guitar comes up. The verse is just a lone vocal before the full band comes in around the chorus. The vocals have a bit of a whine to them (think the higher vocals on the B-52's records). The guitars have a great fuzzy tone and Hornady is capable on the drums, keeping things tight and on track. The buzzy exit from the song almost has you wishing the whole thing had this tone, but thats okay. “Candy Song” starts off slowly before the the fuzzed out band comes in. Satlof seems more active on the bass here, but Hornady is in no rush. The vocals are pushed more as the track goes and it adds to the intensity of the music. A solid track “Game Song” has a fun intro with a surf like feel and the guitars blend that mixture of fuzzy meets slightly out of tune for a quirky but cool sound. (the guitars are not out of tune, but you get an odd sound from them). We cool it down with a slower intro (quiet too) as “Latex Dominatrix” begins. The song has a laid back, but its the first one where you hear the harmonies of Farris and McCartney. Up to this point they've largely sung on their own. The song keeps feeling like it should take off, but keeps the fuzzy and almost monotone feel throughout. Fitting right in to the sound of the 90's is “Just My Size”. This is the sound and feel I wish the whole record was. The band has the talent and chops to write hooks, and this is a great example.  “Dime a Dozen” has a totally different sound, like a production team was different. Hornady roll across the drums as the ladies sing in unison, only broken with a few guitar chords. It has a fun feel to it and the guitars get going some as the track moves on, and the end is a great payoff as we get our first “guitar solo” which is a nice change of pace. “Lovesick” has a darker feel to it but Satlof pushes the bass line some but everyone feels a bit hesitant to take off. The guitars seem to battle off each other. The ladies do a nice job mixing the layers which is nice. The rocking stuff is back on “Mt. Pleasant”. This is where the band shines to me. The lyrics are a bit more brash, the guitars a bit louder. It just makes for a better record. I wish there was more like this. We get the lone guitar intro on “Nancy Drew” and the drums come rolling under it and there are snare strikes as everyone comes in. We are quick, but cleaner on this one than”Mt Pleasant”. Nice 1-2 punch on these tracks. The poppy guitars that mix that fuzzy undertone. “Hollywood Handsome” could be placed on any 90's sampler and be right in place. The song that sold me on them, headed to the merch booth at the end of their set was “Leather Idol”. The guitars on this are perfect, the walking bass line, the clean and tight drums. There is just something about this tune that strikes me, to this day. The album concludes with “Crayola” a solid rocker that blends the pop and fuzzy qualities that make this record so enjoyable.

Where are they now? - The band released a major label release, and it flopped. End of story sadly.
They did reform in 1998 for a one off show to celebrate Teen Beat, the label that released this record, and that was it.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – in looking at my live archive list I don't see them listed, but I KNOW I saw them live since I bought the cd at the show. It may have been a Weezer show, that seems to make the most sense. Anyone have any ideas who they may have toured with?

FDF Overall Take – As a capture in time this record is pretty spot on for what was going on in the early 1990's. Some of it hasn't aged the best, but what has aged well is very solid. This might be hard to track down, but if you are a fan of female led, buzzy early 90's rock this is for you.

There is not a ton out there but their page on their label's site is pretty extensive

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Leather Idol
Game Song
Mt. Pleasant   (Live)

Use the link above to try to track down a physical copy if you desire.

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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