Hold hands of the New York punk scene tell new tales.
Pinocchio’s tallest tale, out now on Toxic State Records.
Our take: A lot of the music I enjoy is like comfort food. When I listen to a well-executed d-beat or 80s US hardcore-style record I love knowing the lay of the land and appreciating the subtle variations in sound and style. Listening to this debut EP from New York’s Pinocchio is nothing like that. It’s more like eating an exotic foreign cuisine for the first time, having your tongue light up with flavors and textures you didn’t know were possible and loving every minute. There are eight tracks, most of them quite short, and they all rely on unfamiliar structures and arrangements. The vocals are also very distinctive, a Kate Bush-type maze of unintuitive rhythms and melodies. The music is somehow both minimalist and maximalist, big and loud but with rhythms that come across as sharp and lean. In that way, and many others, this EP reminds me of one of my favorite records (perhaps my favorite record), Wire’s Pink Flag. Brilliant and unique ideas fly past too quickly for the listener to process, all but forcing you into repeated, attentive listens. And just as Pink Flag is anchored by the pop bliss of “Mannequin,” so is “Behind You” the song you can’t wait to get to every time you drop the needle. This is one of those records that’s so good I’m tempted to buy two copies lest I wear out the first one.