Pleasure Forever, who released a full-length and EP as Slaves before changing their name, wouldn't have sounded out of place on the slummy fringes of Las Vegas's casino scene. The trio's two albums for Sub Pop (they disbanded in 2003) have a kind of theatrical sleaziness and druggy elegance, embodied best in the psych-inflected keyboard parts laid down by front man Andrew Rothbard. Their small but formidable catalog fits in nicely with the west coast's indie-sleaze racket of the early aughts.
Today's 12 O'Clock Track is from the band's final album, Alter. "Wicked Shivering Columbine" starts out with a tough breakdown of jangly guitar and heavy drumming, underpinned by a grooving, bassy keyboard line; then it transitions from straight rock to hazy, rolling psych accented by panning guitar and Rothbard's nasal vocals. It's heady, dark rock 'n' roll at its best, more than apt to soundtrack a blackout bender or a Hunter S. Thompson-style gonzo escapade. Every time I return to Alter, I miss Pleasure Forever just a little bit more.