Ping The Castle Massacre

[QDK; 2006]

Rating: 1.5/5

Styles: no matter how convoluted a song gets, it still gravitates towards the saccharine. Pop wins out, always.
Others: Ween, Todd Rundgren, They Might Be Giants

Glam rock, cock rock, soft rock, hard rock, pop rock — Ping imbibe all of rock's forms and genres. But record collector music this ain't. Pranksters through and through, these Norwegians don't appropriate styles to a greater end — they do it because it's fun to switch gears at the drop of a hat. As graceless and mischievous as their behavior is, it doesn't lack direction: no matter how convoluted a song gets, it still gravitates towards the saccharine. Pop wins out, always.

This pattern issues a string of statements we've heard groups like Ween and They Might Be Giants make in the past: style and genre are sham frameworks, music should be about fun, a hook and a sense of humor salvage everything. Catchiness is a subjective quality, though, and it isn't enough to bring order to this sea of inanity. Moreover, I can't spot even a semblance of a hook in many of these songs — melody, yes, but no hook. Because Ping acknowledge their own ridiculousness and even transience so readily, they appear critic-proof: to berate them for being too silly or shallow is to be uptight and unwilling to have a good time. But in this case, that line of reasoning seems more like a smoke screen behind which to hide half-baked songwriting, poor organization, and conceptual gracelessness than a genuine dollop of devil-may-care popism.

1. Bow to the Beagle
2. Anyway But Now
3. Blue Velvet Robe
4. The Castle Massacre
5. Comeoneverybody
6. The Skating Hall
7. Dying on a Strange Day
8. The Dog
9. December
10. My New Friend
11. No. 3
12. Manuales
13. Inside a Rock
14. Konstantinople
15. The Stupid Whistler
1. Bow to the Beagle
2. Anyway But Now
3. Blue Velvet Robe
4. The Castle Massacre
5. Comeoneverybody
6. The Skating Hall
7. Dying on a Strange Day
8. The Dog
9. December
10. My New Friend
11. No. 3
12. Manuales
13. Inside a Rock
14. Konstantinople
15. The Stupid Whistler

Most Read