If you thought Needles//Pins ran out of dejected pop-punk ideas with 2012’s 12:34 LP, think again.
The trashy local trio offers another batch of tragic tales on sophomore set Shamebirds, and while the amp-cranked riffs are generally in the red, the bulk of the tunes have singer-guitarist Adam Solomonian feeling cobalt blue.
Take, for instance, “You Only Call Me When You’re Drunk”, a Screeching Weasel–style self-loather of crashing cymbals and crunchy minor-chord melodies in which the singer sums up his penchant for taking 4 a.m. sob stories from someone three-quarters deep in a bottle of Jack. At its nadir, Solomonian admits of this hopeless situation: “I will fall for it every time because I’ve got no pride and I have no spine.”
Elsewhere, he gets a little clingy (“Hate When You’re Leaving”), and acknowledges he’s just not that much fun to be around (“I’m a Drag”). The scrappy, fist-pumping arrangements makes it easy not to get consumed by the sadness, however.
While not terribly different from the rest of the Needles//Pins back catalogue, “2 Songs” sticks out from the palm-muted power chords and punk beats by means of its intro’s slow, lo-fi strumminess, while “I’m a Drag” introduces a vintage-drum-machine punch to the proceedings. Sonically, at least, Shamebirds is far from a crying shame.