Warm Needles - Pretty Tambo [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Warm Needles

Pretty Tambo [7-inch] (2012)


I've often found that seriousness is a quality that evades contemporary notions of pop-punk. The genre tends to get derided for either levity or romanticism, while a common tradition of sober tones and even anger tends to be ignored. Yet, before there was a really name for it, Crimpshrine rallied against the social ills and oppression of this world and they did it within a framework of aggressive, distorted pop songs. Warm Needles' Pretty Tambo easily finds its way into this tradition and it does so without sounding jaded or naive.

"You Messed with the Wrong Shapeshifter" is a poppy opener that serves as a fine introduction to the seven-inch and the band alike. While it is vague in its target, it seems to convey an idea of dragging those that deal in keeping the speaker down into the gutter that they have created both physically and mentally. The line "I wanna spend my last days dying in your arms / With you hating every minute of it" really sticks. The contrast of sweet sentiment turned on its head exemplifies what Warm Needles are all about. However, there is also legitimate hope expressed in the closing "Carrion Ditch," that shows a perseverance in spite of it all, with the repeated hook of "Don't give up on me!" While the majority of their music keeps to a Crimpshrine/Cleveland Bound Death Sentence pop-punk template, "MIB III" has a heaviness that comes off like an '80s hardcore punk tune. This is an influence that Dillinger Four flirted with in the past but Warm Needles sound much more at home with.

There is nothing completely outstanding on this seven-inch but there isn't anything I can really knock either. For a first proper release there is a lot here to enjoy for any fan of well written pop-punk, and the excellent production courtesy of Phil Douglas of Latterman/Iron Chic doesn't hurt either. I think if in the future Warm Needles continues to explore the traditional hardcore punk of "MIB III" while still cranking out their catchy hooks they could be on to something rather special.