PiNKSLiPS Release New Anthemic Rock Single ‘Young Blood’ (Irish Rock)
Some records are made out of boredom, others are made out of financial obligation, the best ones are made because they simply have to be made, like life depended on it. ‘Young Blood’ the new single from Belfast’s PiNKSLiPS definitely falls into the later category. Treating the recording as though it’d be their last, the sense of heart, soul and vitality the band poured into the recording is palpable as it rips out of the speakers.
No strangers to adversity, the formation of PiNKSLiPS was fraught with pitfalls. False starts due to the heavy curtain of Covid coming down on the world, coupled with a year of mishap, incident and personal setbacks including Shane’s open heart surgery, all contributed to the bands attitude when recording the single. Frontman and guitarist Gerry Norman speaks of feeling musically dead in the wake of the pandemic and attributes his rebirth to a chance meeting with lead guitarist Dave McGaughey at his open mic night. It was this spark that lit the fuse, with the line up being completed by Shane Watters on drums and Carl Gilmore on bass. Over the next year the band worked in secret honing their sound, each member bringing their own musical perspective to the song writing, taking songs that Gerry had written on acoustic guitar and blowing them up into stadium sized anthems.
It’s this special alchemy that we hear on debut single ‘Young Blood’, kicking off with a prophetic kick snare thump and guitar/bass slide that immediately lets us know what were in for. Shane Watters shimmering ride cymbals washes behind muscular rhythm guitars and a lead guitar that sets up the hook for the rest of the song. Instantly burrowing its way into your psyche, there to live for days, weeks and months. This all gives way to a pulled back verse, anchored by Carl Gilmores melodic bass, that provides space for Gerry’s emotive vocals. ‘I never thought that I’d survive but you found my body alive’ is a love letter to the band that helped resurrect him. Gerry prefers not to delve too deep into the meaning behind the lyrics, hoping that each listener will bring their own experiences and let them resonate in their own unique way. It’s hard enough writing in your diary without having to explain to someone what that line means. Quiet verses allow for the damn to break as the chorus explodes, so massive it reaches even the nose bleeds in the stadium. It’s a chorus that begs to be sang back to the band by a thousand voices crying out in unison. The answer to the question posed in the verses, it’s a euphoric affirmation that pulls your fist into the air. After a short acoustic interlude, the track carries us home the way it came in, with purpose and intent.
After spending some time looking to far off shores for studios that would be able to capture their inimitable sound, the band were able to find the answer much closer to home in Badland Studios, ran by New Pagans’ Allan McGreevey, who also engineered the track. Already sharing a bond with Allan this meant the experience was more like hanging out with friends than a pressured studio situation. This allowed the band to dig deep in the studio, experimenting with different sounds and arrangements. The production on the track gives everything a wide-open feel, even when the torrent of guitars hit in the chorus, and it feels as though Gerry is singing three inches from your face. It’s the sound of real people, playing real instruments, raw and honest. Like Foo Fighters meets an Irish Bruce Springsteen.
The band called upon the talents of their day jobs to help pull together the video for the track. Gerry paints murals by trade so found a vacant wall at his house to adorn with choice lyrics from the track then took it a step further again by emblazoning the bands logo over the top. Like true tradesmen the rest of the band stood by drinking tea and the occasional beer ‘supervising’.
Acting as PiNKSLiPS flag in the moon moment, ‘Young Blood’ is a bold and confident statement of intent from a band that’s far from on its death bed. Still warm the blood that courses through their veins.