REVIEW: Pinkshift get closer to ‘Mars’ than Elon Musk in their latest track
Photo by Leigh Ann Rodgers
Expectations remained toweringly high for Baltimore-based quartet Pinkshift following an impactful introduction to their grungey punk rock sound last year, with golden child ‘i’m gonna tell my therapist on you’ leading the ranks as their first formal release, racking up a cushty 1.1 MILLION Spotify streams to date. The band would’ve been forgiven for cracking under the pressure of such stellar performance, but with their debut EP ‘Saccharine’, Pinkshift sure have delivered.
Featuring previously released tracks, ‘Toro’, ‘Rainwalk, ‘On Thin Ice’, and the aforementioned ‘i’m gonna tell my therapist on you’, the EP also includes a re-recorded version of their 2019 demo ‘Mars’. The result is a solid body of work that supports predictions that the group is destined for big things.
Want to know more about Pinkshift? Read our interview here.
‘Mars’ starts off in the distance before crescendoing into a dark and grungey guitar riff in a subtle yet non-consuming nod to My Chemical Romance’s ‘Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’ era. Each member of the band plays their part well with intricately layered guitar work, pacing drums, a sing-along chorus, and easy-on-the-ear harmonies.
Lead singer Ashrita Kumar sings with the subdued aggression of someone on the brink, but still 100% in control, walking on a tightrope between frustration and hope. Kumar offers a unique distinctiveness to an industry saturated with the need for overly high-pitched storytelling, with their slightly huskier vocals providing an emotional edge in contrast to the angsty grit that follows. It seems that the Pinkshift stamp is to provide deeper, more introspective lyricism encased in toe-tapping fist-pumping packages. It’s exciting to know that a sound this mature is coming from a band barely out of the gate and not yet even at their peak.
And whilst Will Yip (Panic! At The Disco, Movements) remastered the songs for the band’s limited edition ‘Saccharine’ EP vinyl, hats off to the primary producer, Hansel Romero, whose *chef’s kiss* engineering, editing, mixing, and mastering add a noticeably polished DIY feel that enables the tracks to ooze professionalism whilst retaining their underground core.
‘Mars’ and the Saccharine EP as a whole solidify Pinkshift’s forte for mashing the past and future in one, bringing us a wave of nostalgia as we blast off into the future of punk.
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