PINHEAD GUNPOWDER: “West Side Highway,” “Anniversary Song” b/w “On the Ave.”: 7” EP

The world is a much changed place from when I was listening to Kerplunk! on cassette in 1992. Some folks became millionaires and release multi-multi platinum records (Dookie sold over ten million). Other folks kept digging under an oppressive culture to write about a different kind of gold. Yup. I understand Green Day isn’t Pinhead Gunpowder and visa versa, and a major difference, as far as I can tell, is PG’s sustained, intentional naïveté, the lack of “progression” from one thing to another. Pinhead Gunpowder hasn’t hardly changed musically at all (and they started out a little after Green Day). In the land of DIY punk, they’re the Pete Seeger to Green Day’s Bob Dylan (or the Slayer to Green Day’s Metallica, if that helps). This is their first release of new material since their split 7” with Dillinger Four eight years ago, and it’s a smoker: prototypical, tight, catchy EastBay pop punk, perfectly played by some of the folks who were instrumental in forming it in the first place. (One weird thing about this release, considering the band: photos of the band on both sides of the sleeve.)

 –todd (Recess)