Pink Mink set sail tonight with an airtight, joyous full-length debut

Categories: Local Music
Photo by Ben Clark
Pink Mink at the Electric Fetus on Tuesday
Our Picked to Click 2010 champions Pink Mink are in the midst of a flurry of CD-release celebrations this week, culminating with tonight's Sunset Cocktail Cruise and Album Release Party that will set sail on the Mississippi River in St. Paul tonight. It's been nearly nine months since the Minneapolis rock four-piece took the crown and over a year since they started gigging out together, but that wait has been well worth it, as Pink Mink finds the band not only sounding tight and road-tested but also manages to transfer the snarl and vigor of their live shows onto record in a way that makes it sounds raw, visceral, and ready for the national arena.

Indeed, both Christy Hunt's more melodic, slow-burning songs like "Ghost Bike" and "Hidden Beach" and Arzu Gokcen's hyper and fierce "Ginger Wolf" sound even more immediate than they do live thanks to the expert hand of engineer Jacques Wait, who is also the band's bassist.

"I love hanging out with Jacques, so I was excited to go into the studio with him," co-bandleader Gokcen told the crowd at their Electric Fetus in-store this Tuesday. "But the whole time he was in the control room doing his wizard magic and playing the bass at the same time, so all I could do was wave at him."

Photo by Ben Clark
And for fans of the band's live shows, there are a few surprises to keep listeners interested between the more familiar tunes like "Seekin' Scott Seekins" and "Black Door": "Booby Prize" showcases Gokcen's vocal tenacity in a way that doesn't seem to come across as well live, making it sound like a new song all together, and a cover of the Replacements' "Kids Don't Follow" makes for a surprising treat toward the end of the disc. For my money, the band's best song to date is still the instrumental "Werewolf Island," and it ignites on the record as well; you can practically hear Gokcen and Hunt falling to their knees and throttling their guitars.

Between Tuesday's in-store at the Fetus, listening parties at Muddy Waters and Grumpy's NE, and an appearance at the 80/35 festival last weekend, Pink Mink is bound to be in top form tonight as they play aboard the Betsey Northrop riverboat tonight. "We totally stole the idea from Lifter Puller and D4," Gokcen confessed, remembering that she went on a similar rock 'n' roll cruise in the late '90s. The band has invited smoldering punk duo Birthday Suits to join them on the boat tonight along with Current DJ Dave Campbell, who will spin songs between sets and help the band choose a winner for their nautical-themed costume contest (the winner gets a four-pack of tickets to next month's SoundTown, where Pink Mink are also performing).

To get a taste for what's in store tonight, take a peek at this live video of Pink Mink performing "Black Door" at last weekend's 80/35 fest in Des Moines, Iowa, shot for Gimme Noise by the prolific and talented Dan Huiting:

Pink Mink at 80/35 fest 2011 from MPLS.TV on Vimeo.

And here are a few more snaps from Pink Mink's in-store at the Electric Fetus:

The PINK MINK SUNSET COCKTAIL CRUISE AND ALBUM RELEASE PARTY takes place tonight, Friday, July 8, at 7 p.m. with Birthday Suits and DJ Dave Campbell. Boat leaves Harriet Island at 8. $25. 18+.

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