As the pop-punk resurgence of recent years creeps towards oversaturation, it’s refreshing to hear new bands emerge who successfully celebrate alt music without becoming dull. Pinkshift are one band from the new generation who are giving us real reasons to feel excited about the future on their debut album, Love Me Forever, where they go above and beyond their contemporaries in the alternative rock scene.
From the opening smash of instruments on “i’m not crying you’re crying,” PInkshift nail the balance between vulnerable and defiance in their lyrics. Vocalist Ashrita Kumar delivers them perfectly, their voice capturing these contradictions with ease, while Paul Vallejo and Myron Houngbedji are forces to be reckoned with on guitar and drums respectively. The energy doesn’t let up, and the appropriately capitalized “GET OUT” keeps everything in a state of organized chaos. Pinkshift go so far beyond the overused power chord tropes of punk and the result is a beautifully complex record that shows off the seemingly limitless talent of the three musicians.
By “the kids aren’t alright,” we’ve reached dizzying punk heights that will surely cause neck injuries in the mosh pit. Kumar’s lyrics are relentless, Vallejo unyielding on the guitar and Houngbedji a seemingly unstoppable force on the drums.
It’s not until “in a breath” that we meet the truly vulnerable side of Pinkshift. Personal lyrics have been abundant throughout Love Me Forever; this piano ballad shows that Pinkshift have more tricks up their sleeve. While the album would still have stood up without this slower moment, it’s a nice touch that allows the strength of Ashrita Kumar’s powerful voice to have a moment in the spotlight. “Cinderella” also has its slower, darker moments, reminiscent of Evanescence and New Years Day’s ability to take things from high to low.
With Love Me Forever, Pinkshift have come out of the gate with one of the strongest punk debuts in recent years. It’s an impressive listen that will no doubt be all the more impressive on stage. If they keep this up, Pinkshift will be everywhere in the next couple of years, so get in on the ground floor with their enormous debut.