Fresh out of high school and in the midst of a hectic touring schedule, SoCal nostalgists Pinky Pinky have developed an earnest, clear cut artistic identity.
Their second EP within a year, Hot Tears, sways and bangs all at once, backed by minimal yet ultimately rich instrumentals. Compared to its predecessor, Pinky Pinky, Hot Tears sounds like a completely different band. No longer are the days of explosively witty garage rock anthems: Pinky Pinky are reformed, and managed to grow up quite a bit in the process.
On the opener, “Margaret,” vocalist/drummer Anastasia Sanchez’s slightly hoarse vocal delivery soars, professing the debauched lifestyle of its protagonist: “One opiate at a time / Lightheaded, sedated and slurring all her lines / ‘The painkillers should be kicking in’ she said ‘I feel it under my skin’.” Backed by what seems to be a relatively upbeat instrumental, Pinky Pinky’s sense of contradiction — whether that be the gruesome storytelling they’ve grown so fond of, or the 70s’ hard rock tropes they senselessly embody — lets them shine, and the timing has never felt so right.
But perhaps Pinky Pinky’s finest moment on Hot Tears is the closer, “Robber.” Again, the contradictions are aplenty — the silly, slightly sophomoric backing vocals, the constant back-and-forth time signatures — all tied together by a sexual fantasy turned gruesome. Sanchez delivers a twisted ending: “He woke me in my slumber late at night / Struck me in the head with his flashlight / Delusional and sinking in the stars / Didn't think you'd ever go this far.” The observations are stark, unforced, and completely palpable.
This is how Pinky Pinky stand out, for better or for worse — they radiate reality, often times making them play artistic catch up with themselves. Nevertheless, Hot Tears is a leisurely listen, both exciting and a little rough around the edges. But, then again, isn’t that the point?