26 September 2023

The Mirror

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By The Pinheads, The Farmer & The Owl/BMG 2022.

The Pinheads are a band from Wollongong that I’ve recently become reacquainted with via my music influencer, Neil, from Services Australia.

I’d forgotten that I’d reviewed one of their singles, I Wanna Be A Girl, a few years ago until I heard this album and the unmistakable vocal drone of lead singer Jez Player drilled its way into my memory.

The Pinheads play a sort of spaced-out drone like ‘60s-‘70s garage surf rock/ psych/rock that builds slowly into a mesmeric river of sound which envelopes and wafts you along to unknown destinations.

Two singles have so far been released from The Mirror, Heart Of Darkness and Rain Down; there are video clips of both on YouTube if you want to get some idea of the band’s sound.

There’s an element of anarchy that I like about The Pinheads work which is especially evident on Heart Of Darkness but Rain Down is the track that really caught my attention.

The track was actually written around the time of the Black Summer bushfires in late 2019 early 2020 when the one thing we desperately needed was rain, and lots of it.

Naturally it didn’t come when we desperately needed it and now, when we don’t really need it, and we’ve had enough, we’re praying for it to stop.

We certainly are a land of drought and flooding rains!

The Pinheads are very much a DIY outfit.

They write, record, and produce their own music, direct and shoot the videos, and do the album artwork.

Neil the influencer picked up a copy of the album on blue and clear vinyl and the LP format highlights Luke Player’s excellent cover art.

The band consists of the Player brothers Jez (vocals) and Luke (lead guitar), Tex Crick (organ), Tanya Avanus (bass), Alistair Webster (guitar), Chris Zanko (theremin) and James Kates (drums and videos).

The recording occurs in their own studios built in an old tin shed. It all works really well for them.

I’m a fan.

Yes you did read Theremin as one of the instruments, an instrument that’s played without actually touching it.

It’s probably best known for its use on the Beach Boys hit Good Vibrations.

The Pinheads should get in touch with Dirty Water Music in the UK.

I’m sure that they’d supercharge their career in the UK and the continent where I believe they’d be a sensation.

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