Pink Nasty is more pink than nasty. Her harmless harmonies come across more like your wacky girlfriend than the strong, modern persona that’s commonly expected of female musicians. PN rocks like the girl next door and sings like she’s just letting loose in the car on the way to a Starbucks gig. PN, aka Sara Beck (and sister of Black Nasty), has produced a folk/pop/rock combination that, if nothing else, could inspire girls in Middle America to pick up a guitar and not worry too hard about proving something. Coming from a mellow prairie girl, Pink Nasty’s calm, rolling melodies and coffee-shop vocals drive Mold the Gold and affably get her conventional, yet histrionic story across.
A lot of Mold the Gold‘s charm comes from Pink Nasty’s relatively standard rock sound combined with her unpolished vocals and brutally honest lyrics. The opening track, "I Don’t Know", features a slightly off double-tracked vocal and lulling, silvery guitar like she’s playing while laying on a couch. The next song, "BTK Blues", groans about going home while "there’s a killer on the loose" but "he wouldn’t want me anyway". Beck’s originally from Wichita, as was BTK, the serial killer who turned himself in back in 2005, making national headlines, and providing Pink Nasty with instant song fodder. Her style of homespun basement rock is like a farmer – quite charming, just not especially complex.
Throughout Mold the Gold, there’s a rollercoaster of tempos, but the mood really stays dark and calm for the most part. "Dirty Soap" is a quick, fuzzy romp that feels like something the "new" Liz Phair would be happy with. "Thirsty Thursday" is a bass-driven cruiser with heavily-slacked vocals that eventually mellows into swirling, echoed rock. The final track, "Don’t Ever Change", is a duet with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy (whose brother Paul produced the album), with soaring possibilities and well-mingled vocals, but it never takes advantage of the energy it creates and just dies down.
It’s hard not to like Pink Nasty’s second album, but it’s also hard to get enthralled. The warmth of a farmland fireplace is mixed with the same lack of innovation that Kansans have long been cursed with. It’s like there’s a soft spot in everyone’s heart for Pink Nasty, and this album doesn’t miss, it just doesn’t hit very hard.