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July 18, 2024

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Pinehurst Kids
Minnesota Hotel (Self Released)

By: Alex Steininger

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Pinehurst Kids play rock 'n' roll. To better classify it, they play power-pop with a punk mentality. Fuzzy guitars, hard hitting drums, big bass, and lots of hooks on top of well written lyrics make this band one of those bands that stick out from a pile of other bands with just one listen. And on their debut, self-released disc (soon to be re-released on Chicago's 4 Alarm Records) they give you eleven strong reasons why you should, and will, listen to them more than once.

From the opening chords of "Switch," this CD grabs you and lets you know that what you are about to hear isn't your standard modern rock, rather some very powerful and catchy power-pop music that will sink its teeth in you and never let go. The verses are catchy and melodic, allowing you to sing along with ease, but they also pack a punch to them. Heavy guitars scream through the song, tricking you with a nice hook and then cranking out more powerful chords, while the rhythm section hammers away with some nicely executed blasts of fury. But what makes this song so strong is the very addictive chorus. When Joe Davis, lead singer and songwriter for The Kids, sings, "I'm wasted, I'm not jaded. I've just felt this way before," you feel his angst and can easily relate with it. But the action doesn't stop there. "Johnny Mercer" shows the bands softer, slower, and more melodic side. Starting out with heavy guitars, the song plays at mid-tempo, slowing down a bit from the previous track. Joe's vocals are soothing, curious, sad, and hopeful all at the time. Listening to him is like watching an old war time movie where the soldier gets shot down, then the film cuts to his family, and it soon cuts to him fully recovered with the family circled around him crying. It's these kind of emotions that his voice, and the band's music, can pull out of you with ease. Adding a bit of a punk boost to the music, the fuzzy roar of the guitar starts off "Brick." Soon the drums shotgun blast their way into the song, before they jump right back to the guitar. After a few seconds of that the rest of the band jumps in and hammers away. Soon the vocals enter in. Very aggressive, they still maintain a slight soothing effect to them. And as always, they tie enough pop hooks into the rough setting to make it catchy and addictive. "So Shiny" serves up another slower, very melodic number. When Joe sings, "My bitchy's gone, he's moving on," he sounds so innocent and sincere. Combine that with lots of melody and well written hooks, and you have a crowd pleaser. "Jodi Foster" ends the CD the same way it started...catchy, addictive, angst-ridden, and very smart. Two lines that stick out most on this CD appear on this track. "I don't care much for people, and you're people," the chorus, stands out like a sore thumb for its angst-ridden confusion against the whole human race, and "there's a hole in your brother, cause you shot him. Guess You'll make the six o'clock news and get exclusive coverage from forty-five networks," because of the way he sings it combined with the music. It also caught me off guard the first time I listened to it, and ever since then it seems to amplify itself in my ears each I hear it. There are some other great lines on this disc, but for one song these two just jump right out at you. Eleven tracks, and not one weak moment, this CD is definitely one that will earn its place in any record collection.

The Pinehurst Kids are the kind of band that will either make it big in the coming year or stay underground for the next ten years developing a strong, cult-like independent following. Which one will it be? I don't know, it's too early to tell. But what I can tell you is...get this disc! You won't be disappointed. I'll give it an A.

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