Blast From the Past: The Pink Lincolns - Sumo Fumes 2

(Stiff Pole Records)

In honor of Richard "Big Stiff" Konwinski, who passed this past July in Tampa, I'll be juggling between the County Grind and Crossfade blogs doing my Blast From the Past thing on the record label that he founded, Stiff Pole Records. In my opinion, it came to define an exciting era in Florida's punk rock scene.

Formed in the tumultuous year of 1986 in Tampa Bay, the Pink Lincolns quickly established themselves as funny, no-holds-barred purveyors of Ramones-influenced punk rock. 

I've said it a thousand times: Florida's geographical isolation yields some funny results, and the combo of Dorsey Martin and Chris Barrows in the Pink Lincolns has, for 20-plus-years, yielded some of the most exciting and humorous takes on what sometimes is the all-too serious world of punk rock.

We'll start their entry here in Blast From the Past with the first seven-inch record that I ever acquired from them, Sumo Fumes. It goes without saying that when I saw them perform at Cheers back in the day, Chris Barrows was one of the nicest and coolest dudes I had met up until that point.

So let's get to the pink of it. Opening the slab of wax is a raucous rendition of Wire's "Ex-Lion Tamer" that is somehow better and completely owned in the hands of this band. Talk about taking the snot out of art school and doing the proverbial 180 on post-punk's usual semi-snobbiness. I am a fan of the original Wire track, but I can't help but feel that the Lincolns were destined to do it better. Fuck England! All hail Tampa!

This is followed by the pure rock and roll snot of "Tarzan #2" where they assert themselves with an original take on Edgar Rice Burrough's canon. Muddled? Quirky? A little out of place And how do they make it even pinker than before? 

The band closes out the B-side with another cover, this time of the Psychedelic Furs; "Pretty in Pink" that the dearly departed John Hughes should've considered for his flick. That's teen angst! Florida angst!

Stay tuned for more Pink Lincolns awesomeness within these pages and when they said pink was the new black, they fucking meant it!

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