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Pin Ups | Backseat Memoirs | review | indie | alternative | rock | Lollipop

The Pin-Ups

Backseat Memoirs (Good Ink)
by Jamie Kiffel

And when Alice took just a tiny bite, she started to grow... and grow... and grow...

The way The Pin-Ups singer Dejha attacks these guitar-driven, toothily energetic tracks, it seems she must have taken her own healthy chomp out of Alice's magic pill, instantly expanding her right through her binding lace dresses and white tights, into a towering she-goddess surrounded by the shredded remains of girl-dom.

The music is tight and grungy (it is from Seattle, after all), but instead of hurling dark balls of angst into an echoing mosh pit of depression, Dejha walks through her emotional fires and emerges as a woman galvanized. In an alto smacking slightly of Grace Slick, she sings of a relationship gone sour, "I keep hoping you'll get smarter... I live with the killer from another dimension, what have you done to my baby?" But instead of mourning the loss, her voice gains a satisfying threat as she sings, "I thought we could make it through anything, but I'd say, in this shape, we can't win." This ain't Juliana Hatfield. "Poolside" carries the obsession of a Sting song but the danger of Alice In Chains as Dejha sings threateningly over a psycho-like riff, "Hey, sweet thing, laying by the poolside, we could stay up talking 'til the night comes falling, to steal you from me."

Ballads are introspective, too, including the weird suicide note, "Heaven for You Too," where a goofy, playful tune assures her living love that she's saving a seat for him, right next to her in Heaven. "Waltz for Lucy" shows that Dejha's woman-power doesn't lack sympathy, as she sings a charming waltz to the delicate "belle of the ball," as if hoping to lend her a bit of her strength. "For This Life" is a more serious ode to the breakdowns, the self-destructors, and people who get plowed under by life. "Put me in an incubator; I'm not ready for this life," Dejha describing a guy who dyes and redyes his hair in a vain effort to reinvent himself, or the person who, pulled out from their incubator, finds herself "no good, barely alive." Yet the overriding message The Pin-Ups send is learning power through hardship: use your scars for strength, and ride pain like a harnessed hurricane. "I saw her outside my window last night, she was screaming," Dejha sings on "3:43 am." But "she'd never go back there again... he could not do that to her again," she finishes. Dejha's brand of self-empowerment is refreshingly not about beating up boys, it's about beating the girlish self into its own armor, and angelscreaming music through the transformation.
(PO Box 19645 Seattle, WA 98109)  

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