Blast From the Past: The Pink Lincolns - Pure Swank

The Pink Lincolns
Pure Swank
(Stiff Pole Records)
stiffpolerecords.com

In honor of Richard "Big Stiff" Konwinski, who passed away this past July in Tampa, I'll be juggling between the County Grind and Crossfade blogs doing my "Blast From the Past" thing on the record label that he founded, Stiff Pole Records. In my opinion, it came to define an exciting era in Florida's punk-rock scene.

The Pink Lincolns were without a doubt Stiff Pole's reigning act throughout the '90s. Their abrasive and uncompromising snotty take on power-pop punk rock and roll (tempered in the '80s) struck a serious chord among the annals of regional rock at a time when wishy-washy "alternative" rock was ruling the airwaves. OK, so maybe these guys never saw some of that sweet MTV money, but they certainly slept well at night, there is no doubt about that.

Recorded in fall 1996, Pure Swank was the fully realized opus the Lincolns had been promising for many years. Thirteen tracks of pure punk-rock hell that open with the great two-minute ode to selflessness, "Loner," and closes with the incredibly true (even after a decade-plus!) "Your Generation Sucks." In the middle, we get a reprise of Sumo Fumes 2's "Tarzan #2" and the blistering snot of "Rats," "Knives," and "Riot Barbie."

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This album was produced by the great Bill Stevenson of Descendents/All/Black Flag fame, and it dropped in the late spring of 1997. The personnel were the even snottier vocals of Chris Barrows, the guitars of Dorsey Martin and Paul Johnston, and the rhythm section of Fred Stolz on drums and Kevin Cross on bass.

Stiff Pole's still got some CDs of this available, but good luck with the vinyl. "Loner" is a track that I've come dangerously close to grinding into the wax. Let's get together, let's be alone! I don't need friends, just blindfolds and a cigarette!


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