There has always been something irresistible in the idea of a band playing the same three-chord, poppy sound that The Ramones made famous. Bands like the UK’s Perfect Daze, and international bands such as The Queers, The Manges, The Leftovers and many others have adopted the same template to varying degrees of success. And whilst in no way can the music be described as groundbreaking in any way, [part of its attraction is its adherence to the same standard], it always brings a smile to my face when done well. That’s why I thought I’d feature Seattle’s The Piniellas today. After all this rain, we need something summery.
The Piniellas are made up of three members – Scott Matthews on vocals and guitar, Rob Femur on drums and Leif Pacemaker on bass and backing vocals. They get their heads down and play a basic, three-chord pop thrash that is tuneful and hook-laden. With harmonies aplenty and all the two minute songs you can shake a stick at, they manage to play the fast and the slow songs with all the authenticity of Da Brudders themselves. They even play Ramones covers, so there is absolutely no pretentiousness here. You get what you see.
The band released a six track ep ‘Without a Fight’ in March this year, which contains six tracks of their trademark sound. It’s a fun listen, and I guess my only reservation with music that is so explicitly derivative is that the band concerned could be accused of concentrating too much on one source of inspiration. You could of course hurl the same accusation at the likes of Ben Weasel and Joe King – some of The Queers, The Riverdales and indeed Weasel’s output is very Beach Boys – influenced, Ramones-y styled stuff. However I would counter that by saying that they both injected their own style into the music, so that you always know it’s theirs, despite the obvious influences. I guess it’s a thin line which bands tread carefully, and the Piniellas have enough original songs and style to pull it off.
Anyway, I guess this kind of music doesn’t demand too much in the way of intellectual discussion – this isn’t the New Musical Express in 1981 for goodness sake. Just crank it up, fire up the barbecue, and enjoy some great tunes.