Well, life is still extremely busy with all the normal work / church / family stuff, and we’re still remodeling the church building, so that’s taking up extra time… but I just had to get a post in.
I’ve been wanting to post about the band PinStripe for a while, but I had so many other bands I’d committed to first that I’ve finally got an opening now. These guys are pretty sweet. Coming from Racine, Wisconsin, they’ve got a raw, edgy sound that brings back memories of early Talking Heads or other punk / grunge bands from back in the day.
PinStripe is actually just the duo of Steven James on guitar, backing vocals, piano, tamberine, and drums, and Kam on lead vocals, guitar, and bass. The two of them were guitarists for a local Christian rock band near my area, but they decided to branch out beyond the “Christian rock” sound and pursue more grunge/punk music with PinStripe.
I love all the free recordings they’ve got up on their MySpace page. Gritty, scratchy vocals that bring up instant comparisons to Kurt Cobain one minute and early David Byrne another. Fuzzy guitars. Some really sweet guitar solos and catchy bass riffs. Great lo-fi sound. A little harmonica and tambourine once in a while. Why wouldn’t I listen to this stuff forever? If you read my blog regularly (ha, as if I even posted regularly anymore…), then you’d know I’ll like almost any music with a harmonica thrown in. Shoot, I might even like opera if you played a little harmonica somewhere.
Their songs are loud and edgy, but they’re varied enough in music and dynamics to keep my interest and provide some diversity to the sound. A lot of two-person bands suffer from a lack of variety in the music, and things can sound a little canned, but PinStripe somehow escapes that and creates a really full sound.
PinStripe is pretty sweet musically, and their lyrics are humorous and well-written. Better-written than that last sentance, that’s for sure. Listen to the lyrics of “Times are Lame.” The song is hilarious in its bluntness and honesty. Besides using words and phrases like “sucks,” “blah blah,” and “times are getting lame,” the best line of this song that sounds like a conversation between two 16-year-olds at the mall is “And all I really wanna say: Life’s gay.” I crack up every time I listen to the song.
PinStripe is one of my favorite of all the new bands I’ve heard in a while. They draw on the roots of punk and grunge, but they’re not just copying what their predecessors have done. It’s like they’ve dug up early grunge music and reinvented it as their own.
The only down side is that PinStripe has just got a handful of songs on-line, so once you’ve downloaded them, who knows how long it’ll be before you can listen to some new stuff.
Here are two of my favorites by the band, and you can download more from their MySpace:
Note: All MP3s will be removed after one week