If you’re into shoegaze and emo music, perhaps the most obvious thing for me to say about this record is that you’ll be reminded innately of Turnover if you give it an intentional listen. That almost feels unfair, though—as each artist has their own unique points of view that inform their songwriting.
What I can say, though is that fans of Turnover will love PINE, this album is definitely a bit more assertive and driving. Both bands have their layered approaches. Both are satisfyingly sad. Yet, there’s an extra bit of grunge-crunch that overrides the post-rock-informed emo at times. “Sunder” is a great example of this effect.
Another highlight of the album emerges in “Maladroit.” You might be thinking to yourself, “what in the world does that mean?” Well, besides being the title of the fourth studio release by Weezer, it is defined as “ineffective or bungling; clumsy” per a quick Google search. The structure of the song certainly isn’t clumsy, but the song has an attitude about it that could certainly be interpreted as a rant against someone inept at what they’re doing. In an album that’s poignant all the way through, I often look for moments of fun that are a break from the emotion. I’m an empath, so being around immense emotional situations, even if it’s art, can be exhausting for me.
In fact, the album seems to get more pointed in its effect the more I get into it. By the time I get to “Bluff” my initial Turnover comparisons almost seem moot. However, all of my thoughts above seem to coalesce in the album closer “Lucinda” which is poignant, loud, and satisfying in a myriad of other ways. It’s almost as if the the track sequencing is done to reward listeners who decided to give a deeper listen.
PINE certainly have many of the ingredients needed to become one of the new indie darlings of North America. Will they? Time will tell, but this album is a good start.