Music

It’s the start of something beautiful for The Pinheads

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This Wollongong six piece do a nice line in 50’s & 60’s influenced maximum R&B. If you’re thinking of Brian Jones era ‘Stones, or The Who, or basically any 60’s influenced garage act like King Gizzard in their early days, you’re in the right ballpark.

The Pinheads

Wollongong six piece The Pinheads bring a manic, violent energy to I Wana Be A Girl.

It would be a mistake to waste time listing all the members, since they all have fake names anyway. Instead, let’s talk about the music. The Pinheads signed with Wollongong imprint Farmer & The Owl, and are label mates with considerably more melodic Hockey Dad. With ridiculous stage names and the standard, almost boring reputation for onstage violence and antic performance, The Pinheads seem to be playing the manic RnB villain to HD’s sunny 60’s psych.

I’m the girl with fire in my eyes, Agent Orange everytime I cry” singer Jez sneers in his incendiary call to arms, inciting young women to riot.  Skinny male rock singers pretending to be women isn’t a new conceit, but in 2015 the violent edge to the tune feels topical, so that’s…good. The classic, top heavy garage feel evoked by Straight Arrows/Palms producer Owen Penglis is on point, from the thin, searing spike of lead guitar to the rhythm section’s blurry crash and stomp. Penglis and singer Jez have shaped a quality vocal with just the right amount of petrol-driven distortion too, forming the weight at the core of the mix.

Triple J electronic producer KLP commented on The Pinheads’ Unearthed posting for I Want To Be A Girl that Jez’s vocal is excellent and would sound great on a more spacious electronic track. It just sounds like she wants to collab with the guy, and I’m not sure he’s being crowded-out by the guitars here. But he’s got a great voice, and this song has just enough of the right kind of slashing, violent energy to work. I’m just not that wowed.

I’ve heard young bands and songs like this before, and usually they do this type of music because it’s fairly easy to play and write to the format. A real leap in the writing, less generic hooks in the guitars, and a more considered approach will pay dividends for this band in shopping a song beyond their current community radio level. Having said that, it’s exactly those things that a band of this type will reject and avoid, and that’s probably for the best for them. Sneer away, gentlemen.

Like King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, I expect this band to mature through the numerous live shows they’ll play between now and when Triple J decide they are cool, or they break up. And they might hate me for being critical but it’s only because underneath all the noise, I can hear the pop band they want to be.*

*Ed: Deep. No seriously, I mean that but riddle me this Stone: What is they don’t even know they want it yet? [insert twilight zone music]

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