This listing is for The Pinheads - Baked Not Fried CD Hard Rock Psychedelic.
Label: Alert Records – Z2-82003
Format: CD (August 15, 1994), Import
Genre: Rock, Pop
Style: Hard Rock
1 Sin City 3:07
2 That's The Way 3:59
3 Higher 6:40
4 You Belong To Me 2:24
5 Track 5 (Unnamed) 1:32
The Pinheads fall into the "best-band-you've-never-heard-of" category, as their all-too-brief existence in the early 1990s was always puzzling and a little tragic to me. I once had a chance to see this tumble-in-the-rough band live in 1993, at its fast apex, but since The Pinheads never showed up for the gig, I never heard them play in person, unfortunately. Still, The Pinheads left behind an excellent full-length album, 1993's The Good, the Bad & the Pinheads, as well as the shorter "Baked Not Fried" from 1994, in which the band continued its tradition of ignoring the popular early-'90s "grunge" sound and aura that so many of its contemporaries latched onto.
These guys possessed a fun-loving early Van Halen sound. Though "Baked Not Fried" contains only four songs, it rocks like its predecessor, which, by the way, contains a classic rock 'n' roll photo in the CD booklet of bassist Kent Weber sporting a rude-looking black eye. On "Baked Not Fried," the band plays a sturdy brand of feel-good, hard-hitting rock 'n' roll that's simultaneously melodic, from the heart and filled with solid bridges to keep things interesting. Rock-'em-sock-'em rock 'n' roll -- that was The Pinheads in a nutshell.
"That's the Way" is scorching, with thumping rhythm guitar work, a great guitar solo, rocking drums and vocals that are pure David Lee Roth, minus the campy showboating. "Higher" is a much slower, blusier track, sort of a cross between vintage 1970s and 1980s rock balladry -- again without too much cheesiness or an overly sappy vibe. The intense "Higher" comes from the soul, thanks to the fierce guitar wailing halfway through. The Pinheads played a brand of rock music that would feel right at home in both a small bar or a large, packed arena full of screaming fans. Sure, the band may not have reinvented the wheel, but it had a sound and style that the masses usually clamor for. Productionwise, each instrument on this CD comes off distinctly -- no muddy wall-of-noise here -- and the sound is not overly sheeny or too flat.
"Baked Not Fried" concludes with a short, surprisingly reggae-influenced instrumental that has the sound of far-off tropical lands. Instead of being filler waste, however, the unnamed track only showcases The Pinheads' versatility as musicians, and makes one wonder what they would have created next, had they made it to the next gig.
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