Brilliantly named Minneapolis band Hot Pink Hangover fuse a wide range of genres from punk and hard rock through to alternative and country, which lead singer Mercy Danger describes as “comical, energetic, and loud.”
The band began a few years ago with Mercy and guitarist Davey Hazard, who worked together at the same elementary school. Davey found out that Mercy was a musician and invited her to jam in his mother’s basement which, as Mercy explains, doesn’t sound creepy at all.
“I grabbed my pepper spray, got 911 on speed dial, and headed over there to meet him,” Mercy told us. “We wrote our first song, Fragile 17, which is actually on our Wasted in Space EP.
“My husband, Danny Rampage, is a drummer, so that was an easy choice – though it has it’s own set of unique challenges! Our bassist, Lenny Renegade was selected via a Facebook ad when our original bassist stepped down from his position on the stage and into a position as our producer. Lenny came in knowing most of our catalog and impressed us with his musical prowess and Latin accent! Thus, Hot Pink Hangover was born in the most tarnished of heavens…”
They’ve since honed a sound that crosses a wide variety of musical genres, which Mercy describes as “everything but jazz I guess!” On their musical backgrounds, she explains: “We love being able to genre-bend. I come from an Americana singer/songwriter background, Davey loves his Green Day and punk music, Danny is all about the Foo Fighters and riff rock, whereas Lenny is a child of the 90s and that comes through in his musical preferences.
“We all bring a little bit of our musical history to the table, which makes for a really unique (I think) sound that is sometimes difficult to assign a genre to.”
Our latest taster of this is last year’s EP Wasted In 3D. It kicks off in style with the lively Deathgrip, which begins with Mercy’s engaging vocals over drums and bursts of guitars, which quickly feeds into a singalong chorus “Don’t say hello as the curtains close, Wa-oh, Let me go, If the headlights glow on the open road, Wa-oh, Let me go.”
Another funky verse follows, with more little guitar flourishes, and feeds into a chorus that drops into palm-muted guitars supporting Mercy’s vocals that gradually increase in intensity. It explodes into heavy punky guitars over repeated cries of “Here I go,” then drops into vocals over claps that feed into a final chorus.
Unsurprisingly, the band have a wide range of influences but common themes for their music include mental illness, alcohol – which comes with the territory with their band name – inspirational people and things that they find amusing.
As Mercy explains: “We have the most light-hearted song about the apocalypse you’ll ever hear! We sing about a girl who gets arrested for a DWI while on her way to church, and we have a song called Porno on the Radio, which Facebook wouldn’t let us boost because the music video displayed a cute little booty in the first frame!
“We hear from a lot of our fans that our music just makes them happy… and that’s the best compliment we could hope to receive.”
A personal favourite song from the EP is the big final track Drones. It opens up with lovely drums and stabbing guitars that continue under Mercy’s engaging vocals. It bursts into a big singalong chorus of “I’m afraid of drones, drones, drones, Flying low, low, low, I’m afraid of drones, drones, drones, In my blood and in my bones… And the doctor says I can’t be alone, I’m afraid of drones.”
That drops into a lively second verse of “They track my every move from underneath my skin, I bought a razor blade and 30 shots of gin, And I ain’t got no pain, And no I’m not insane, I’d bite my tongue and watch the porcelain turn red,” which feeds into another catchy chorus. You can check it out in the video – which sees Mercy sans the pink wig – below and we guarantee it’ll be stuck in your head for some time to come:
The aforementioned track about a girl getting arrested on her way to church is, of course, called Church, and is also on the EP. Check it out below:
As is the big catchy Porno On The Radio, which features the line “Hey, there’s porno on the radio and it sounds so good,” and you can check out why Facebook refused to allow it below:
On their musical creation process, Mercy tells us that her and Davey are not short of lyrical topics. “I think between our mutual bouts of seasonal depression (living in MN will do that to a person!) and our colorful pasts, we have never have trouble coming up with a song idea,” she said.
“When we started the band around three years ago, we wrote around 40 songs right out of the gate, which we’re still working on getting through! I like writing about love and female empowerment and he likes to write lyrics with a lot of imagery. We have a great creative chemistry and really enjoy the writing process.”
The band are currently working on their first full-length album, which will be called Beautiful Freaks, so they’re gearing up for the parties and touring festivities (Covid-19 dependent, of course!).
And Mercy adds: “We’re proud allies of the LGBTQ community and are involved in a lot of Pride events, as well as having the honor of being included on some pretty cool festival rosters this summer.
“Please visit our website for more info and to see what this pretty little shit show is all about!”