May 22, 2017

LP: The Pink Tiles - #1 Fan

The Pink Tiles tackles garage rock with a massive dose of enthusiasm.

Garage rock has steadily become one of the most common signifiers for a band. Starting with an early 2000s mainstream revival spearheaded by The White Stripes and The Strokes, the genre boomed again in the late 2000s thanks in part to California label Burger Records with their roster of psychedelic, surf rock. But now, the indie-sphere is prominently occupied with emotionally raw singer-songwriters making music on keyboards or in bedrooms. If garage rock seems like it's fallen out of vogue, that doesn’t bother The Pink Tiles, a Melbourne six-piece who have been churning out tunes since 2014. The band’s sound has remained fairly consistent over the years, but on their second full length #1 Fan, it comes in an extra glossy package courtesy of mixer Jim Diamond (whose CV includes the aforementioned The White Stripes).

For just “another garage/pop group from Melbourne, Australia” (as their bio states), the sextet tackles their songs with a healthy dose of enthusiasm. #1 Fan is the sonic equivalent of the band ushering us into their garage and excitedly pointing out the various posters they’ve picked up at gigs over the years. Lead singer/guitarist Victoria Defruita channels the gentle coo of the Dum Dum Girls, but instead of that band’s cool detachment, The Tiles' offer a goofy rag-tag energy that's more reminiscent of Hunx and His Punx. Whereas Hunx played up the camp with Seth Bogart's hyper-sexual delivery, the Pink Tiles are stain-free. They play with scuzz and grime, but only just enough to give their pop ditties a little crunch. Standout track “Sammy” cranks into action with a buzzsaw riff and never slows down even when it piles on the melodic harmonies. There’s traces of Tacocat in the Tiles’ playful approach, even covering similar topical themes on “Internet” – a love/hate song about the world wide web. “Writer’s Block” and “Expensive Hobby” (a song about starting a band) continue to show a more playful side of the band that makes them standout among other garage rock acts. The squelchy keyboard riff on “Time for Love” sounds like its being played on something just pulled out of a musty box in a parent’s attic. When listening to the album, it actually feels like The Pink Tiles are having the best time making music together - a vibe that can be hard to capture. If you share their enthusiasm, #1 Fan is a prime candidate for heavy rotation this summer.


Listen to The Pink Tiles on bandcamp.


Mo is a writer who can be spotted at the gig dancing like a squid. Follow him on twitter @sadgayfriendx. He also helps books shows at a Brooklyn house venue called The Bronze.