SACCHARINE by Pinkshift

The tug of nostalgia is strong, and its pull seems to get magnified for me with each passing year. I guess this is what they call getting old. Anyway, someone online suggested that I check out Pinkshift, a modern emo-rock/pop-punk band from Baltimore. What convinced me to check them out was the comparison to early No Doubt, which is a somewhat unfortunate comparison that’s 100% because the band has a female lead singer. Pinkshift is more punk than No Doubt ever was.

The band recently released an EP of five songs, SACCHARINE, that perfectly captures the spirit of those early 2000’s era punk/emo bands that I used to hear on MySpace while hanging out in my dorm. The fact that kids these days are still interested in making this kind of music really warms my heart. Oh, and “i’m gonna tell my therapist on you” kicks major, major ass. The snark, the sneering attitude, and the swagger of that track are worth the price of admission. The dark and brooding “Rainwalk” feels like a My Chemical Romance track. Now that I think about it, MCR is a more apt comparison to make than No Doubt. But all of these comparisons are kinda lazy and don’t do Pinkshift justice.

Listening to “Mars” makes me wanna bring out the guyliner, and I never wore guyliner. I read an interview with the band online where lead singer Ashrita Kumar credits the pandemic with “i’m gonna tell my therapist on you,” blowing up online. I’m not sure if there’s a place in the current cultural zeitgeist for a 2000’s inspired emo band, but if there was ever going to be a moment for this type of music to get popular again, this does feel like the time. The musicianship, lyrics, overall vibe are all there.

Give this EP a spin and if you’re so inclined, go on Bandcamp and pick it up like I did and support these kids.

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