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Pinski: Sound The Alarm

I must admit that I was a little taken aback when I first cranked up the debut album, Sound The Alarm, from Cologne’s Pinski (not to be confused it would seem with the guitar instrumentalist Plinski…). To be fair I’d never heard them, or indeed heard of them previously, and yet coming as it does from RPWL’s Gentle Art Of Music label, there’s no denying that my expectations were of something progressive, something maybe a little soothing, or even gently challenging. Pinski aren’t really any of those things. Instead this lot greet you with a neat line in bluesy, sharp, if slightly 80s fixated rock by way of “Ugly Side”. The title track follows and after some gentle pinging from the acoustic guitar of singer Insa Reichwein - or Pinski, as she’s known - there’s a more modern alt undercurrent bolstering what is a quite stunning vocal attack. Electric guitarist Ian Alexander Griffiths puts in a gargantuan performance here and indeed throughout; bold brash riffery very much the order of the day.

Dig deeper and you’ll discover that Pinski, the band, aren’t happy to merely knock out happy go lucky rockers, “III” revealing an almost shred-like guitar solo, before “Fire” (which is admittedly pronounced ‘Fiiiiyuuuuur’ in the catchy as hell chorus) steals the show. There’s some clever, muted riffage underpinned by articulate acoustic picking, which does, to be fair, give a loose air of Porcupine Tree to ponder. And yet when the stomp-a-thomp rhythm from bassist Christopher Streidt and drummer Stephan Schope lays down the law, there’s something almost Rage Against The Machine-ish about the staccato-laden intensity - although it is, again, just a hint. Pinski’s voice often gives pieces like the rather wonderful acoustic ballad of “Stay Alive” a much more modern outlook than the music itself drives home, meaning that as you work your way through the seven minutes-plus “Red Sun” it segues its way from being a pensive meander of voice and strum into a loud, proud, but still controlled strut.

Sound The Alarm is a strange beast. An album where initial impressions don’t always ring true and where the more elaborate elements that run underneath the main themes hint at a band much more broad minded than you’d first suspect. Not everything quite comes off with the real force and power of this release’s best moments, but any slip in quality is brief and as such this beast makes a serious early statement from a clearly talented band.

Track Listing
1. Ugly Side
2. Sound The Alarm
3. Butterflies
4. III
5. Humanity
6. Fire
7. Letter Of Regret
8. Stay Alive
9. Red Sun
10. Society
11. Light Calling

Added: November 3rd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Pinski online
Hits: 783
Language: english

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