THIS IS IMPERATIVE before we go any further: (1) Pink Mountaintops is not solely obsessed with sex. (2) We are all way too obsessed with being under the influence of INFLUENCE. Now maybe you'll understand where band-hopping Canadian rocker Stephen McBean is coming from. Many critics and listeners got the impression that Mountaintops is simply a tribute to raw, raunchy sex and to bands that get McBean hot (Velvet Underground, Joy Division, other greats).

But if you've actually heard the music, you know that Pink Mountaintops is, to quote the band's own mission statement, much greater than the sum of its influences. From cold drum machine shagging to reverberating guitar rubdowns and guttural crooning, these Mountaintops have more in common with writers like Henry Miller than the unzipped fly on the cover of Sticky Fingers.

The outfit's newest release, Axis of Evol, makes it clear that McBean's dealing with much darker desires than just the quest for a good shag. There's still plenty of screwing on Axis, but it's less triple-X porno than something out of Henry Miller's "Land of Fuck." Everything is murky and sinister and rotting in the meth-drenched moonlight. Where McBean started out looking for orgasm, he ended up chained to the bed by cold criminals, drug queens, and warmongers. These people use silver bombers for sex toys and their sweet 69s take place in bathtubs full of blood.

Axis is a cosmic gangfuck between God and the Devil himself, with all us listeners sandwiched in the middle. But there's a hint of redemption: What we want is really free, McBean says at the start of the record, and though their upcoming gig might cost a few clams to get in, I think you'll know what he means when you see his Mountaintops in the glorious, sweaty flesh. Make no mistake, there's a lot more going on here than just a schlock-rock grope-fest, but all that aside, this is definitely a show you should get laid after.