The Pinheads’ sophomore album Is This Real is a stunning array of punk perfection.
Drawing from just about every era of punk and beyond, the local wave makers have confirmed their status as artists creating a nuanced, textured sound to compliment their all-out live performances.
The Pinheads push the envelope whilst remaining true to their fiery form on Is This Real. No doubt a cannon of new live material, it also hints at their highly experimental longevity.
It’s often hard to find punk albums that bear such an attention to detail to tone and contrast without jeopardising the raw power and knee jerking rhythms that define the genre. But it’s safe to say Is This Real is just that, a rich testament to The Pinheads’ tapestry of punchy face slappers and genre defying garage rock.
It’s hard to accurately pin this album down, from the sprawling rock monstrosity of Pure Hate, to the soft touch of Is This Real, standing out as an album highlight thanks to a wheezy harmonica solo. The Pinnies are subverting expectations in a rich an honest way.
Wall to wall crackers like Feel It Now harken back to the straight ear punch of early Ramones and The Clash, while For A While shares bonds with Allah-Las and Brian Jonestown Massacre. Now blanket the whole album with the raw energy of Iggy Pop’s first releases and you can grasp the range of influences here.
Juicy, fuzzy guitars sometimes crunch under riffs or curl up like a furry friend in your ear hole, but it’s all diverse and expertly executed. Furthermore numbers like Innocent Crime and So Alone explore stylistically modern elements of shoegaze and art-rock, screaming that The Pinheads are both comfortable in their identity and willing to push the vision a little further.
As the tracks gallop on it becomes clear Is This Real may not share the conducive, catchy lyricism of debut EP I Wanna Be A Girl, though it by no means fails in that regard. It is just far more explorative, delving into elements of the avant-garde and transgressive examination, which all become abundantly clear in the final song.
The seven minute Outro mirrors the eight minute opener, Pure Hate, closing the album full circle in an apocalyptic barrage of poetic justice. Outro blends elements of ambient and avant-garde, feeling like a portal to some twisted midnight seance, and charting new territory for the band.
The Pinheads’ second full length release is a high mark for the outfit. Whilst staying true to their identity they have journeyed further into their sound as an art form, rather than a medium for punters to head-bang. It’s a wonderfully executed body of work and is sure to become emblazoned upon the tapestry of modern Australian music.
Is This Real is released on Friday the 24th May via Farmer & The Owl.
Catch The Pinheads raging through their new album at the Happy Mag Issue 11 Launch, also on Friday 24th May. We all know there’s nothing like watching a band play an album the day it launches, hot off the press.