Oct 24, 2022
By Caleb Campbell
Love Me Forever, the debut record from Baltimore punks Pinkshift opens with a roar: “I’m so sorry that you’re seeing me this way,” apologizes lead singer Ashrita Kumar just before the band tears in with all of the force of a bulldozer. That searing energy and visceral vulnerability are the two twin hearts of the band’s debut, a record that is both pummelling and purposeful.
Kumar spits, snarls, and soars as guitarist Paul Vallejo crafts whirlwind riffs and Myron Houngbedji’s muscular drumming sets the record’s breakneck pace. Through nearly the entire LP, the band conjure the cathartic magic of punk, playing so fast and loud they should seemingly come apart at the seams.
All along, the band walk a fraying edge between frenzied confessions and righteous fury. They explore the nihilism of a generation growing up with an uncertain future, the wounds of trauma and abuse, and the alienation of living unapologetically in a hostile world. Yet, they emerge at the other end unbowed, unbroken, and powerful. The resulting record is a stellar punk debut, claiming Pinkshift’s spot among the genre’s next generation, a future that is both more inclusive and angrier than ever. (www.pinkshiftmd.com)
Author rating: 7.5/10
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