Punk is a reliable genre. Get the right instruments, three chords, some personal lyrics, and an attitude together and you have 95% of what you need for a post-hardcore album. With that accessible and, let’s be honest, quite basic formula, it takes an inventive band to really stand out in the field, and any group that doesn’t have a vision for their music is unlikely to get noticed.
So, what is it that Pinkshift is doing to get your attention? Well, their music is just so intensely sweet… Saccharine, you might say. This doesn’t mean their music is unserious or lightweight per se, in fact, they have more of an edge than you might expect, just that there’s a certain queasy pleasantness to it. The ep gives the aggressively upbeat and positive energy of a close friend on the verge of a total mental breakdown. There’s a compelling tension between the mall punk aesthetic and the understated, quietly dissatisfied lyrics, something like Avril Lavigne covering The Dead Kennedys. However, what Pinkshift nails in their music is a total lack of irony despite this rather angsty dissonance. There’s no sense that Pinkshift is above the kind of music they’re making, just an earnest and melodic sound.
This is a debut Ep, so doubtless Pinkshift have more to give. There are a few moments on the album that hint towards more musical complexity, especially on the one instrumental passage. It will be interesting to see if they embrace this or double down on streamlined punk formulas. Either way, take some time for this album, it’s only a 15-minute commitment.