By : Steve B.
5 min read
The focus of these reviews has generally been local bands, but for this month let’s shift our focus as far from Boston as possible. In recent years, there has been some absolutely phenomenal punk(ish) music coming from Australia. Ghoulies, Amyl and the Sniffers, Gee Tee, and Research Reactor Corp are just a few. I am sure someone from Australia reading this would say: “We have been kicking ass for a long time. You are just finally recognizing our brilliance.” That might be true, but better late than never.
My favorite to date is Pinch Points out of Melbourne. Their first album Moving Parts was released in 2019, and it is a good first album. But what caught my attention was their 2020 album Live at RRR. The live album reminds me of that scene in the movie That Thing You Do where a mediocre ballad is turned into a hit when the drummer picks up the tempo. (Anyone else remember that movie?) Live at RRR takes their solid songs and transforms them into exhilarating, driving, post-punk anthems that stayed in my heavy rotation for months during the lockdown.
That brings us to Pinch Points’ second album Process released this March.
Thankfully, the driving, fast tempo found in Live at RRR extended into the studio. For me, this is post-punk at its best. The striking features of the quartet (two guitars, bass, and drums) are the gangly, wiry guitars playing memorable riffs and the counterpoint male and female vocals dripping with righteous conviction. What is particularly notable about Process is the social issues tackled by the album—climate change, police brutality, sexism, crippling anxiety, the pandemic, to name a few. What is wonderfully refreshing is how the album simultaneously approaches these topics with earnest compassion and a giant middle finger.
Let’s let some of the lyrics speak for themselves.
Song “Reasons to be Anxious”: I get anxious when I get a text. I get anxious when I don’t get a text. I get anxious when my doorbell rings. I get anxious about fucking anything.
Song “Haruspex”: We’re so well practiced - practiced - practice and you’ll get better. Haruspex - Haruspex; we talk and talk while women get deader. It’s all so boring. We scare ourselves to sleep at night - scare ourselves in broad daylight. Scare ourselves on the bus; what dress is long enough?
Song “Am I OK?”: You know you look good on paper. But you don’t like what you read. That’s not what I see. You might not be convinced, but you matter.
We should all show Pinch Points some love, and perhaps they will venture to New England sometime soon.
Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #147 June 2022
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