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Pinkshift - Love Me Forever (Album Review)

Wednesday, 02 November 2022 Written by Emma Wilkes

Before the pandemic, the members of Pinkshift were three college students who played in a band for fun. They came out the other side as viral sensations after their feisty yet tormented grunge-pop hit I’m Gonna Tell My Therapist on You punctured the internet in the depths of the Covid shutdown.

Two years on, the Baltimore trio have torn their cocoon to shreds. They’ve grown monumentally, and they know it.  On their debut album ‘Love Me Forever’, they’re in nothing less than blazing form. The progression is obvious right from the get-go – poetically angsty opener I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying feels like the tougher big sister of …Therapist, with gnarly riffs, clean production and a punchy, relatable chorus. 

From there, it only gets better. Get Out arrives kicking and screaming with snarling punk guitars and shout-alongs, while vocalist Ashrita Kumar performs the rocket-fuelled Cherry (We’re All Gonna Die) with newfound bite.

Pinkshift are heavier than they’ve ever been, pointedly refusing the pop-punk label that’s been so readily attached to them, and they’re all the better for it. Indeed, there’s a sense here that they sound as they’ve always wanted to, and there’s a genuine trendless individuality to this record in both sound and personality. 

They’ve got the range as well. The moody Cinderella is a blockbusting mid-album showstopper that provides an atmospheric change of pace without compromising any of their urgency, but it’s the track directly before it that takes the biggest risk. The fragile one-voice-one-piano ballad In My Breath is a giant outlier, but it never falls into the trap that so many other songs do by being boring. 

Having spent most of the record raging, the vulnerability Kumar has on show here is breathtaking, and it’s testament to the strength of their vocal ability that they can carry this off as well as they do. Imagine Paramore’s ‘Riot’ if it went to therapy, played Nirvana constantly and had a penchant for wearing oversized shirts, and you have ‘Love Me Forever’. It’s the sound of a band flourishing, and it’s no exaggeration to call it one of 2022’s best rock debuts. 


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