The Sneaky Pinks / The Guilty Hearts / Top Ten / Total BS (Budget Rock V)
The Stork Club
November 10, 2006

Review by Jake Thomas

Every year I plan on going to at least some of Budget Rock, and then I always put it off like the lazy jackass that I am. But this year they moved it over to the Easy Bay, and well, what the hell, I finally made it to one of the nights of this weekend soirée.

I’m not afraid to admit that the biggest motivating factor for my going was to see a band of local rockers cover Bob Segar. I’ve seen Total BS before and it was a riot, so I made sure I was there early to see them perform a short set of Segar, consisting of his 60’s material only. There was great backup singing, bongos, and even a little wrestling when Ryan from the Mothballs got tangled up on stage with the singer Jason, best known for his work with Harold Ray: Live in Concert. Lots of tracks were played off of Segar’s debut album “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man”, including the title track and my personal fave “2+2=?”, a Vietnam-era antiwar song that got Jason off on a tangent of bringing our boys back from Vietnam that was kinda funny.

Up next were Top Ten, who I’ve seen a few times and not written about, mostly cause I can’t think of anything original or worthwhile to say about the band. Not that the band isn’t worthwhile, but some groups just produce writer’s block in me (assuming you consider what I do “writing”). The group is fronted by Tina from the Bobbyteens and I guess if you liked her old group you’ll like this one too – tho’ I think Top Ten has a slightly more hard rock/punk vibe ala The Runaways. Every time I’ve seen them I’ve always dug it, and this was no exception.

I didn’t know dick about The Guilty Hearts before or during their show but it was good times. They were a pretty even combination of dirty, fuzzy blues-rawk and garage…I can’t think of a good comparison really, but it was some dark tunes with mouth harp and distorted instruments and it fit right in with the budget rock feel. I meant to look at their records but I got sidetracked with a Mrs. PacMan tourney that took place between my friend Lomo and myself after the band finished, a match-up I won despite some subpar ghost-dodging on my part.

Going against my very nature, I even managed to stick around for a fourth band (possibly a record for my short attention span), The Sneaky Pinks from Tucson AZ. I didn’t know anything about the group (not surprising) but Carlos from the Mothballs insisted that they were going to put on the best show of the whole weekend, so what the hell. It is also worth noting that this was apparently their final show according to some in attendance (I have no idea if this is actually true, so let’s just assume so for now and then when they play their next show we can pretend it is a reunion, everyone loves those). Anyways, the duo of jokesters that make up this band donned silly outfits, had a tape deck play the drumbeats, and then proceeded to perform some goofy, catchy punk rock songs that sounded like M.O.T.O. and Bandway got high on shrooms and decided to make a baby. I know the Bandway reference will only make sense to a handful of people back in North Carolina, but it is truly the best comparison I can think of for these folks. But it was damn entertaining, much too short, and if it really was their last gig that is a bummer but I’m glad I got to see them at least once.