Lucky Pierre, Kevin McMahon's nicer face, surfaces hard and brilliant two years after Prick's The Wreckard, his jagged, tormented return to form. Pierre and Prick live in McMahon's head, expressing different parts of a personality that is tangled indeed. Fame burned McMahon in the '90s, when he recorded as Prick for Trent Reznor's Nothing label and toured with Nine Inch Nails and David Bowie. Lucky Pierre was his band in the '70s and '80s; Reznor -- and Tom Lash, McMahon's key supporter -- is an alumnus.
The 11 tracks on ThinKing, Lucky Pierre's first CD, largely recorded by McMahon in his Lakewood apartment, are exemplary pop-rock, from the eerie, metallically sensual "Clouds" to "Attitude," a twisted power ballad about the perils of domesticity and curdled Catholicism. McMahon's music is insidious and infernally catchy, packed with quadruple entendrés, fractured French, and cleverly masked accounts of truly painful events. ThinKing reminds you how expressive pop can be -- and how very hard it can rock.