Needles//Pins

Good Night, Tomorrow

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    7
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The opening track on Needles//Pins' third full-length album, 2017's Good Night, Tomorrow, begins with an ominous tattoo of drums and distorted guitar that would do the Melvins proud, but 45 seconds later, things dramatically shift gears and the Vancouver trio let you know just what they're about. Needles//Pins specialize in a dirtied-up variation of pop-punk, with Tony Dubroy's pulsing basslines moving the tunes forward as Adam Solomonian's guitar work emphasizes the melodic hooks and Macey Budgell's drums add a heaping helping of muscle and texture. Actually, the band hits pretty hard, which makes the contrast between Solomonian's heart-on-sleeve lyrics and his gravel-voiced singing all the more dynamic. Plenty of emo acts could make weepy pop tunes out of lyrics like "Sleep," "Violet," or "Time and Tide," which frequently deal with the difficulties of human relationships, romantic and otherwise. But Needles//Pins manage to sound emotionally honest while making this music jump and shout, the muscle reinforcing the passion of the songs rather than working against them. The band gets a major assist from producer Jesse Gander, who makes this band sound unexpectedly rich and dynamic for a trio, though the precision of the group's playing (and Solomonian's subtle but effective guitar overdubs) gave him excellent raw materials to work with. Between the engaging melodies, the shout-along energy, the heartfelt lyrics, and the physical force of the performances, Needles//Pins are not about to be hemmed in by one idea of what punk rock is about, and Good Night, Tomorrow shows it's possible to be eclectic and tightly focused at the same time.

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