Pinhead Gunpowder - Carry the Banner (Cover Artwork)

Pinhead Gunpowder

Pinhead Gunpowder: Carry the BannerCarry the Banner (1995)
Lookout Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:

Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Thanks to Green Day's popularity in the 1990s, I was able to listen to Pinhead Gunpowder long before I was even indulged in the more underground aspects of the "scene." This Bay Area "supergroup" has actually been around for a decade, and at the time of this EP included Billie Joe from Green Day an.
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Thanks to Green Day's popularity in the 1990s, I was able to listen to Pinhead Gunpowder long before I was even indulged in the more underground aspects of the "scene." This Bay Area "supergroup" has actually been around for a decade, and at the time of this EP included Billie Joe from Green Day and another Bill, from Monsula, doing vocals and bass, and Aaron Combetus (formerly of Crimpshine) on the skins.

With an apparent classic range of influences from The Ramones and Green Day to Face to Face and NoFx, the power-chord deluxe displayed their music on Carry the Banner, a fourteen-minute, angst-ridden disc with plenty of singalongs and power chords to go with it.

Whether it's Billie Joe's "Armatage Shanks"-esque "foo!" opening up the slightly repetitive "Walking Catastrophe," or the temporarily hushed vocals preceding crashing drums and chords in "Mahogany," these are the little things that overshadow the fallacies of the album. The little things also include the improvements in several things over its predecessor, Jump Salty, in that Bill's vocals are much less gravelly and the production sounds a little more manipulated, not to a major label's style, but rather to a style that fits the music well.

Aside from the things that make the EP listenable, there are the previously mentioned negatives, like the three-chord staple - there really is nothing interesting or special going on in the guitar work, and the bass lines basically just follow the guitars. The songs rarely surpass the two-minute mark - just when you really think you're getting into the song, it ends. I managed to fit all four of their major releases in the 90s (Jump Salty, this EP, Goodbye Elston Avenue, and their best release, Shoot the Moon EP) onto one normal compact disc, providing a great example of their work yet not leaving much room for singular longevity.

Nonetheless, this is still a great example of straight-forward Cali punk, and the state of such in the mid-90s. It's worth a look back if not for simply nostalgic purposes.

MP3 - I Used To


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Pinhead Gunpowder - 7''Blink-182 - Cheshire CatPinhead Gunpowder - Compulsive DisclosureAlkaline Trio - DamnesiaThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimFake Problems - Real Ghosts Caught on TapeThe Shaking Hands - The Shaking HandsAlkaline Trio - This AddictionNOFX - Punk In DrublicBlink-182 - Dude Ranch

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thatswack (January 7, 2005)

One rad CD

Anonymous (August 3, 2003)

Billie clearly has, and will continue to start songs off with "Suh!" and not "foo".


Edgie (August 2, 2003)

I actually listened to this earlier today. It's great, as is pretty much every other Pinhead Gunpowder release. Of course, I'm a big fan of Green Day, so maybe that's why, but ah well.

Embaressing geek story: I tried to name a character in Everquest Pinheadd Gunpowder. They wouldn't take the Gunpowder surname, though, and I made his surname Circus. Pinhead Circus is great too, go check em out.

Anyone know what happened to them by the way? I know they broke up and reformed as Love Me Destroyer, but that's the last I've heard on em.

Anonymous (August 1, 2003)

well to write reviews of burned cd's isn't that bad.

i reviewed a cd for this site once without even having heard it.

i liked this review.
(even though some information was wrong, but wtf are you gonna do about it? complain to the "internet forum punk association" or what?

Anonymous (July 31, 2003)

yeah, I'm sure the music is not the same on the burned copy. Which in turn means he did not review THE MUSIC the same was he would had the CD been an actual legit copy.

Give me a fucking break. People on this site just find things to bitch about. Good review of a great band.


lieutenant (July 30, 2003)

I have to agree with the commenter below... You don't even own this CD and you have written and posted a review? Get the fuck out of town.

blotto (July 30, 2003)

I can't believe you wrote a review on a _burned_copy_ of a cd.

inagreendase (July 29, 2003)

i'm buying shoot the moon before i buy this (if i ever get off my lazy ass and around to it)

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

so you like the album enough to review it, but not enough to buy an actual copy of it?

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

A lot of independent San Francisco book and record stores carry it. I just looked at my copy of #3 and all it has is an email address: idealjune@yahoo.com

you can probably find out that way.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

i haven't seen that in awhile, anyone know where to get it?

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

ideal june rocks!! that shit is funnier than a monkeys ass.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

And right behind Cometbus in 'zine fame is IDEAL JUNE.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

fuck yeah, avocado.

cometbus zine and aaron's music/lyrics go hand and hand.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

Re: "Cometbus" vs. "Combetus," I'm with the guy who said "Do some fucking research."

from Allmusic.com:
It would be easy to label "Pinhead Gunpowder" as a super group considering that the line up features four players from other well known bands. There's drummer Aaron Cometbus formerly of Crimpshrine...

from epitonic.com:
Pinhead Gunpowder is a Berkeley punk band made up of four guys better known for their other projects, who just enjoy playing together. They are: chief instigator and drummer Aaron Cometbus (creator of the notorious Cometbus fanzine and member of Crimpshrine)...

The fact that you aren't familiar with Cometbus, perhaps the most famous 'zine in the country after Maximumrocknroll, shows how unqualified you are to review a Pinhead Gunpowder record.

funkisdead (July 29, 2003)

i used to fall off of my skateboard to this band.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

I remember seeing the state on a college tour about 8 years ago, fucking hilarious. 8 years?!?!?!? God, I'm fucking old.

(wants to dip his balls in it)

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

yeah Reno911 is funny especially the guy in the short-shorts. i can't believe though that it took years to finally put the show in production. it supposed to be on FOX but thank god for comedy central.


inagreendase (July 29, 2003)

i have this cd only from a burned copy, so i did do research, and from my best efforts this is what i came up with. so my sources were wrong, sucks for me, but don't jump down my throat saying i didn't try and research it because i put it in my best interest to make sure everything is accurate in all my reviews. there's no review i write that involves me browsing through at least a handful of websites for something. but i was wrong this time and thank you for correcting me nonetheless

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

Mike (from Fuel) shared vocals with Billie Joe on Jump Salty. Jason (now of the Influents) has shared them with BJ ever since. Bill doesn't really sing a whole lot. Do some fucking research before writing something.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

Crimpshrine and Green Day are both great, and so is pinhead gunpowder. But what makes this post even more special is the fact that you guys are all talking about the State, which, was quite possibly the funniest thing in the history of the world, as is stella and wet hot american summer. Right fuckin on!!

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

I have "Goodbye Ellston Avenue"

If this is similar to that it's pretty damn good.

maverick (July 29, 2003)

Since we're talking about the State and State-related projects:

I'm pretty sure the majority of the State is now on that new Comedy Central TV show "Reno 911!". I've only caught one episode, but it was rather funny, and many of the faces looked familiar.

Oh yeah, "Wet Hot American Summer" is hilarious, too. This score is for that.


Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

the score is for using "power chord" twice in the same sentance.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

oh, i'm very familiar with the film, all of the State cast members work actually. I suggest the Stella DVD to all fans of The State or Sketch Comedy.


inagreendase (July 29, 2003)

i really dont like posting a million times on my own review but...the fuck my cock comment was aped from a classic piece of comedic cinematography called "wet hot american summer". rent it sometime

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

haha, "oh fuck my cock" that's killer.
Anyone else have this on vinyl? It's like a 7"..only bigger.

inagreendase (July 29, 2003)

oh fuck my cock. you're right. i bow down to you

inagreendase (July 29, 2003)

no...its combetus...there might be a Cometbus zine but to my knowledge there's no Aaron Cometbus playing in Pinhead Gunpowder..

Hulka (July 29, 2003)

Erm, that's "Cometbus," as in the excellent 'zine of the same name.

TheOneTrueBill (July 29, 2003)

Uh, Mahogany was a Donna Summers song. sorry to burst your bubble.

Ha. I made one of those 'complete' Pinehad CDs for one of my friends. Glad to see I'm not the only one.

Sciulli (July 29, 2003)

Yep, Shoot the Moon is damn amazing. Doesn't even top 12 minutes.

Too bad the next Pinhead release is just a comp. of their 7"s and what not.

inagreendase (July 29, 2003)

i was gonna write up a review for shoot the moon instead, because that is one of my favorite eps of all time...but there was already a review so i figured i'd contribute some other pinhead stuff to the punknews archives. screw the akas and check shoot the moon out, THE MP3S ARE EVERYWHERE! no, seriously they are

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

Mahogany is one of the best pop-punk songs of all time.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

I heard this when I was first getting into punk. The guy at the music store wrote on it "With members of Green Day and Operation Ivy". There was no OpIvy. But I still loved and still love the CD.

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