The Winks - Green Eyes (Cover Artwork)

The Winks

Green Eyes (2024)

hey pizza / punkhead records

The Winks have been flying under the radar of the Midwest punk scene for a number of years. This St Louis band is led by lead singer / guitarist Dillon Dunnagan. Fans of the contemporary pop punk bubble will most likely know him from his work as the current bassist of Dan Vapid and the Cheats. Following a self released album and a few digital singles, the Winks return with the seven song Green Eyes.

“Can You Feel My Heart Beating” is the perfect opener as it serves as a solid introduction to the best qualities of the Winks. It commences with a nice and loose alt rock feeling, not unlike the Replacements. The bassline carries the verses leading to the bombastic chorus. This track would have fit perfectly in your favorite 90’s movie soundtrack. The title track “Green Eyes” follows which is another solid love song. The full band kicks in right away with a bombastic opening. Dillon shows extreme vocal diversity in this track about saying goodbye to someone you love in order to chase your dreams. The Winks pick up the pace on “No Name” which follows. The guitar tone takes on a grittier feel throughout compared to the rest of the album. This song boasts some quick chord changes. An almost hardcore inspired bassline in the bridge takes the listener to a frenzied guitar solo. “Growing Up” is another track showcasing great vocal range. The music is just as fast as the former track, but less aggressive vocally. Lyrically, this song tells the tale of dealing with things of which you are unaware. This song could easily fit on a Cheats record. “Lush” is one of the more personal songs lyrically on this release. As the title suggests, this track speaks of numbing pain and heartache with alcohol. Musically, the band takes more of a golden oldies approach. The tempo rocks a bit more in the chorus leading to an emotional guitar solo that sounds almost like an apology. “Running Out” is a true pop punk gem of a song. This one has that Midwest post-punk flair that appeals greatly to my Chicago ears. This is a song about not being afraid to take chances. This seven song set concludes with the acoustic “Hopeless Not Helpless.” This sweet yet somber track holds the same rhythm and tempo throughout. This song serves as a cool down from a steady workout.

The Winks showcase greatly what they have to offer on this seven track release. One can debate whether this is an EP or an album. Regardless, this band encompasses the best qualities of pop punk and power pop. The slick production of 90’s alternative rock is not lost on this band. The Winks are also a powerhouse in the live setting, should you get the chance to see them.