Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Album Review - Pinact - Stand Still and Rot

If you’re at all in touch with the Scottish local music scene, you’ll be aware of the rising number and popularity of noisy surf-gaze, fuzz-pop, insert-obscure-music-genre-here bands.  This is, in part, thanks to excellent local labels like Fuzzkill Records who are reaching out to these young acts and nurturing their talent.  But, if Pinact’s debut album Stand Still and Rot proves anything, it’s that this duo are not just another surf-gaze act, looking to feed off the international fame of fellow Scottish noisemakers such as PAWS and The Xcerts.  No, much more than mere copyists, Pinact are set for great things, and all from their own doing.

With the title track opener, the band refrain from jumping straight into the nitty gritty, instead, opting for a smooth introduction, almost lulling the listener in as singer/guitarist Corrie Gillies proclaims, “If we stand still, we’re gonna rot,” before the chaos inevitably ensues.  With Anxiety, however, it’s no holds barred as the band reveal their true musical identity in the form of pop songs drenched in fuzzy reverb.  The addition of Chris McCrory (Casual Sex, Catholic Action) on drums has done wonders for the band’s music and begs the question, with killer riffs and some heavy, well-executed drum parts, who even needs a bassist?

The main lyrical theme throughout the album is (surprise, surprise) relationships, or rather, the struggles and downfalls of relationships (it’s kind of a package deal).  But there’s much more to it than merely weeping over a broken heart or two.  Corrie does all but serve up his heart on a plate on Stand Still and Rot, lyrically exploring some super dark, sensitive issues surrounding relationship struggles and his own experiences, most notably, with mental health on songs like AnxietyScarsNegative Thoughts And Jealousy and closing track Novembore.  At some points, it’s as if he’s invited us to read some of the most private entries of his diary.  There’s a strong sense that Corrie puts a lot of trust in us as listeners to do just that: listen and not judge.  For this, we should appreciate and respect Pinact’s music all the more.

What’s thrilling is how the band execute that fun old juxtaposition of energetic, happy-go-lucky, summery fuzz-pop guitar riffs and Corrie’s otherwise dark, emotional lyrics, something which is evident on songs like Into The OneBrew and standout track Terrapin.  With slower, more bittersweet songs like Limbs, Up Or Down and The Beginning Of The End, where the music doesn’t shroud the lyrics as music, not only do they provide a short respite from the fuzz, but they allow the listener to truly appreciate Corrie’s sincere vocals and honest, confessional songwriting skills.

On the flipside, there’s Spill Yr Guts, Make Some Noise which allows the duo space to go, for lack of better words, fucking nuts on their respective instruments.  The result?  An audible representation of the song title itself.

There’s no doubt that, while Stand Still and Rot is an excellent album, these songs were made to be played live.  The energy and passion is already abundantly present on these studio recordings, but on stage, in front of some equally pumped music fans is where these songs and this band truly belong.  Pinact are already doing exceptionally well in America and, having recently signed with Brooklyn based indie label Kanine Records, you’d be well advised to catch them while you can.  With that in mind, make sure you catch the album launch on May 19th at Broadcast.  It’ll brighten up what is sure to be a rather dreary, lacklustre Tuesday evening.

- Nina Glencross

Pinact – Stand Still and Rot is out on Tuesday 19th May via Kanine Records and will be available to pre-order on digital download and limited edition cassette tape on Bandcamp.

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