By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Occasionally when Crash Vinyl performs, the band is joined onstage by a pair of young women in bright-colored wigs and tight leather hot pants. The girls writhe around at the front of the stage, much to the delight of the audience -- well, most of it, anyway. They are the same two girls, Krissy Spinner and Ashley Jones, that grace the back cover of the group's debut album, Precious Platinum. Spinner and Jones (no, not the late-'70s TV cop duo) are around to make sure everyone -- the guys, at least -- is paying attention to what's happening onstage. And it works: Their presence is often enough even to overshadow the frizzy antics of Crash Vinyl singer Kevyn Ingle, who's as hyper as his hair is tall. Which is to say, extremely.
But Ingle is a bit worried that Spinner and Jones play the part too well, that too much gets lost in the translation. It's kind of like going to The Lodge and trying to remember what songs were played. He doesn't want people to just ogle the girls. Ingle wants them to listen as well. After all, Spinner and Jones aren't even members of the band, just friends that come out, depending on the show. Still, he realizes that sometimes people just can't help themselves.
"They're like an added light show, or smoke or something like that," Ingle explains. "Of course, there's all the dudes who are like, 'Yeah.' But you don't really wish to be identified as 'the band with girls.' Hopefully, people will come and go, 'Oh, that's pretty cool,' but they'll want to come back. When they listen to the music, hopefully they're not thinking about, 'Hey, there's a girl dancing to this song.' It's good to have, but it's kind of a gimmick to an extent. It's just entertainment value. I want a really big transvestite, but no one seems to really want to go for that."
That's the only gimmick Ingle and the rest of the band -- which includes guitarists Rip Van Bastard and Stain Hanksky (we're guessing those aren't their given names), drummer John Jay, and bassist Dave Jessup -- have to worry about. The songs on Precious Platinum are the kind of rock-out-with-your-cock-out anthems few bands attempt anymore. And even fewer groups can play them without sounding like high school stoners content to reproduce a past they are quickly forgetting in a cloud of sweet-smelling smoke. Crash Vinyl, on the other hand, plays dumb rawk and roll as intelligently as possible, without taking all the fun out of it.
But until the band members moved to Dallas from Denton -- which, Ingle admits, "was not that big of a transition" -- at the beginning of the year, they played for themselves for the most part. It was only after they relocated to Dallas that the group began to take itself seriously. Well, not that seriously.
"The rhythm section is what we always lacked," Ingle says. "We kind of just dicked around and didn't really think too much about it. [Drummer] Matt [Kellum of Chomsky] would sit in every once in a while. I don't know. It was kind of one of those things where when we were playing by ourselves, we weren't too worried about it. And actually, it was pretty easy. We only went through a couple of different drummers. Since we've been in Dallas, we've had the same people."
The lineup had not completely solidified when they began recording Precious Platinum with Chainsaw Kittens guitarist Trent Bell at his studio in Norman, Oklahoma. Kellum -- who is one of Ingle's roommates, and also plays with him in The Deathray Davies -- and former Nixons bassist Ricky Brooks both appear on four songs on the disc, all recorded during a one-day trip to Bell's studio. The other six songs didn't take much longer to record and were captured on tape on another quick, two-day visit across the Red River. But Ingle is happy with the album, both with how it sounds and the fact that people can hear it at all.
"It's pretty much straight-ahead rock, so hopefully, you can't screw it up too bad," Ingle says. "You always look back and think, 'We could've done this and that.' But under the circumstances, I don't think I could be much happier with it." He pauses. "Or that a bunch of screw-ups could get together and put something out."