“Born out of friendship, bowling, sci-fi movie marathons and literal brotherhood, The Pinheads formed out of what is now colloquially known as the Leisure Coast, spread out among the northern suburbs of the Illawarra and Wollongong region. They quickly established themselves as one of the area’s must-see live bands; no mic stand was left unturned, no face left unmelted, no speaker stack was left unclimbed. Fans don’t leave Pinheads shows with fond memories–they leave with battle scars and folklore tales to last the ages. Is This Real’ is The Pinheads second studio LP, the follow up to 2017’s self titled LP.”
The Pinheads have steered clear of the dreaded second album jitters and provided us with Is This Real, a must-listen, surf-rock record that bolsters the Illawarra’s reputation of producing some of the best up-and-coming acts popping up on radios and festival line-ups today.
It’s a very guitar-centric LP, with 7 of the 12 songs kicking off with just a lone, jagged guitar line before chaos eventually ensues. Fuzz-heavy guitars are panned to each and every direction – making headphones a must-have if you want to get completely lost in their tunes.
They have a distinct sound that remains present throughout the record but never feels like it’s outstaying its welcome. Whether it’s the slow, spacious vibes of the title-track Is This Real or the more frenetic and outlandish bangers such as Satisfied and Feel It Now, The Pinheads manage to make the same guitar-driven sound feel tailor-made for each song.
The seven-piece band use their opening and closing tracks to unleash their experimental side. Both Pure Hate and Outro are long, spaced out and unconventional in structure – they flow on forever in the best possible way.
Overall, it’s a timeless album that could’ve been released anytime within the past three decades and not have felt out of place. Not only is it real, it’s unreal. Ben Nicol