It’s really hard to review a collection of cobbled together demos from over 20 years ago, written by the brainchild of a band that everyone considers a joke, and a highly offensive one at that. But that is the task in front of me when reviewing “Pink” by Mindless Self Indulgence.
For the record, I like Mindless Self Indulgence a lot. I think ‘Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Oddly Sexy’ and ‘If’ are both great party albums and the band are very good at what they do, even if what they do is very niche.
However, the problem with “Pink” is that it is essentially an album full of filler, described by Jimmy Urine himself as a ‘lost’ album of sorts. It is effectively the musical equivalent of chucking spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. None of the songs are fully formed enough to really amount to anything, and over the course of 19 tracks it does wear a little thin, as after a while they do sound the same. There are hints towards end of the band they would go onto become with the inclusion of previously heard tracks ‘Do Unto Others’ and ‘Bed of Roses’, but it comes very late in the game.
Interestingly enough for a band that seems to enjoy pushing people’s buttons and being controversial, this is an oddly restrained collection that lacks the bite that later releases would have about them.
You can see why the two covers – Duran Duran‘s ‘Girls on Film’ and Depeche Mode‘s ‘Personal Jesus’ – have never seen the light of day until now as they are both largely uninspired and add nothing of value to the package other than being interesting to those with a curiosity for what they would sound like.
Mindless Self Indulgence as we know them have grown into a guilty pleasure band, albeit one with a larger fanbase than most, and this works to satisfy a lot of fan curiosity over the somewhat mythic ‘lost’ album in the band’s catalogue, and serves well as a stop-gap to keep the band in people’s minds. It seems harsh to give it a poor score and criticise it unfairly as it is just a collection of demos, but as the old saying goes, some things are just better left in the past.