The Pink Tiles
Trading off snarling riffs and 60s pop sweetness, The Pink Tiles’ sophomore album, #1 Fan, doubles down on everything that made the Melbourne band’s debut so addictive. They take the California garage-pop sound and drags it screaming down the highway, switching up between insistent, gutsy rock, boldfaced power-pop, starry-eyed love songs and social commentary.
Led by Victoria de Fruita and Mara Williams, confirmed as two of Melbourne’s most ferocious front-women, #1 Fan makes its crust from irresistible harmonies and rock’n’roll swagger. Driving riffs and rhythm on tracks like ‘For Tomorrow’ and ‘Rocky Road’ set a heart-racing momentum for heartache and break, while elsewhere they get autobiographical: ‘Expensive Hobby’ is a wandering jam about the moment one transitions from fan to musician, describing the history of the band gazing at their favourite acts from the other side of the stage before playing furtive bedroom shows and eventually building up to their own record, and ‘Sammy’ is a blazing account of percussionist Sammy Strawbags’ joining the group after a one-off show. Elsewhere they reckon with internet addiction (‘Internet’), make time for love (‘Time For Love’), get downright sombre (‘Weird And Strained’), and try to scale the creative cliff with a little romance (‘Writer’s Block’).
Recorded by Paul Maybury at A Secret Sound Recorders and mixed by Jim Diamond (The Dirtbombs, White Stripes, The Sonics etc), #1 Fan embodies the forefront of garage-pop, acknowledging the genre’s traditions with a rhythm section guaranteed to sway hips and rock heads, but pushes it forward with contemporary concerns and new flourishes which position #1 Fan as heir to the throne. With raunchy riffs, inquisitive lyricism and irresistible band chemistry, #1 Fan proves Pink Tiles are still top of the class.