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SoundsXP Presents
Next show:

BAD FRIDAY!
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The Windmill, Brixton
Good Friday, 14th April 2017
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Album Review

Pinhead Nation
Luck Had Nothing To Do With It Onomatopoeia Records

Article written by Ged M - Mar 5, 2012

pinhead_nation.jpg
This is a long-gone three-piece who were formed in 1989, released three singles, and played their last gig in 1995 (so long gone, in fact, that they don’t seem to have an internet presence). And ‘Luck…’ is the album that they began work on in 1994 and then put to one side while they took what they thought was a short break. Seventeen years later, courtesy of production by Bic Hayes of the Cardiacs and Dark Star over that period, they have their album.

Though they were most active in the early 90s, the sound derives from 80s post-punk but looking towards the more avant-garde likes of This Heat too, all spike-and-jerk rhythms and disconcerting time signatures. Drummer Julian Ison is remarkably unpredictable in the patterns he chooses to underpin the songs, which beat like the clattering rhythms of a heart stabbed with a syringe of adrenalin, while Dave Cooper sings with an edgy, bluesy growl and Paul Casey drives the music onwards with a visceral, grumbling bass. It’s all built around contradictions: stop/start, fast/slow, ziggy/zaggy, angular/melodic, angry/funny (“I’m not gonna dream about leather and willow/ or Michael Portillo…”). ‘Bantam Dreams’ sums up the record, alternating twisty post-punk verses full of crunchy guitars with choruses of frenetic punk spirit. This might not have worked as well in 1995 given what else was happening but these days it’s strangely more on message than ever.

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