On 2006's Mold the Gold, Sara Beck asserted herself as the awkward girl with the big voice. She had a sense of humor but also knew how to write amplified folk songs. After a four-year absence, her third album is a reassertion of self and a refinement of sound. Where 2003 debut Mule School focused on the Austinite's Midwestern country roots, here she's more comfortable with a guitar and a pop song. Opener "Sandstorm Temper" unwinds the kind of riff buzz that informs most Guided by Voices songs, and then there's the Neko Case-lite lament "Nag Nag Nag." James Petralli of White Denim duets with her on "Eye Would Pay U," a slow-burn diversion, though dizzy pop ("Planters," "Sex Kinda Smells") is where she excels. While still finding her identity, Pink Nasty steps up and forward.
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