New Album Review

ALBUM REVIEW: The Pinheads – Is This Real

BEST TRACKS: Feel it now, Is This Real?, So Alone

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Grab your swimsuit because this album seriously drips.

The Pinheads first gained some traction in the surf punk scene back in 2015 with their single I Wanna Be A Girl, which is still their most popular song to date, though their sound was still very course and scratching. Since then, the pinheads have continuously re-calibrated and tightened up their sound, moving in a more guitar-heavy direction and leaning away from thin, clattery percussion in favor of fuller drums. Is This Real, released in May of this year, is their smoothest album yet.

Is This Real has a very independent feel to it, which makes sense considering that this album was entirely created and recorded in a shed (lovingly called the Pin-shed Laboratory) belonging to the mother of one of the band members.

This album has a lot variation that will keep you on your toes, ranging from bluesy tracks like Is this real? to full out surf punk like track number two Feel it Now. Despite the mosaic of styles, the entire album is drawn together beautifully with familiar drawled vocals and fuzzy guitar. Similar sounding artists are Wax Witches and Shannon and the Clams.

As you listen, you might be wondering, with a guitar sound this drippin, what large body of water were The Pinheads adjacent to when they recorded this album? Answer: the Indian Ocean. Growing up in the suburbs of Wollongong, Australia, on the Leisure Coast, The Pinheads were always surrounded by surf rock, the influence of which shines through on this album in its wet, energetic riffs.

My favorite song on the album is definitely the title track Is This Real?. One of the slower songs on this album, Is This Real? sounds like the end of a perfect summer day. Especially when that harmonica comes in, you’ll remember one of those days where you hung out with your friends all day doing dumb shenanigans and now that the sun is setting you’re tired but happy and satisfied.

Happy and satisfied is also something you’ll feel after listening to this album.

-Safia Rizwan