“DIY or Die.” That phrase, created in the seventies by punks willing to put it all on the line, has grown into a mantra for the hardcore community. By the grace of god we are lucky enough to bare witness of that philosophy’s magnitude with the freshman release of Hand EP by Pink Guitars. Erected from the ashes of the past group, Supergoner, Pink Guitars’ creative force, Sean Wild, drew from his influences; Black Flag, The Germs, Sonic Youth, and No Wave bands Mars and DNA.
The lead track establishes the tone for the entirety of the EP.. “On The Inside” begins with dissident feedback before the punch of the 1-2 driving punk drum beat, which had put Wild’s musical ingenuity to the test. Lacking a full drum-set for the recording, he employed the use of drum-hit samples to round out the bass, toms, and high hat percussion.
Layered on top of the drums and pulsating three chord riff has to be one of the truest punk voices heard in some time. Wild uses guttural force to propel the song’s energy, which nears the ledge of the high-end wail without ever breaking, all the while retaining its clarity.
Following “On The Inside” are two hardcore punk songs in all of their glory. “Embrace the Freeze” decidedly blows out the guitar amp with the amount of distortion and fuzz effects. A fabulous bridge strips away everything except for the drums, and then steadily builds to an explosion back into the chorus. S”tops Completely,” the EP’s longest song, clocking in at three minutes and seven seconds does not let up for one of those seconds, and leads perfectly into the Hand’s defining song.
“The Hand” blisters along as the release’s fastest track, but also best highlights Wild’s sense for melody and song production. Elements of hardcore come through in his vocals as he screams “Retain the hand.” As the song progresses the chant turns on itself, being manipulated and chopped up to achieve an astoundingly resilient feel. Also layered into the mix is a four part melody of simple and softly sung ‘aaah’s, which Wild looped on top of each other for depth, and give the track an ethereal, may i say tranquil feel.
The last four songs on Hand get back to the tight and driving hardcore punk that Pink Guitars will rightly hang their hat on. “Built in X,” “Reading Books about Zen,” “Above it All,” and “Bad Day,” are played masterfully and crafted with a high brow view of the punk aesthetic.
In summation, Pink Guitars pick up where punk legends Black Flag, The Germs, and The Bad Brains, have left off, and they take it one step farther. With the aid of modern technology Hand EP explores sonics hardcore bands from the eighties and nineties may have never even imagined. This E.P. reaches into chartered territory, hardcore-wave.
Written by Kevin Prentice