Published Jul 11, 2014Though the band has had its fair share of buzz, it still feels as though Needles//Pins have yet to release a record that really demonstrates why they're one of Vancouver's most celebrated underground acts. I'm not sure if Shamebirds is that record, but it's a step in the right direction. Album centrepiece "High & Waiting//Cheap Cigarettes" begins with an ache that gets quickly replaced with the band's trademark, sobering pop.
It's the moments where Needles//Pins play with and expand their sonic palette on Shamebirds that make it a truly exciting and rewarding listen. Adam Ess' gruff, nasal vocals still define the band's sound, while simultaneously situating what they do in a larger tradition of Americana. Needles // Pins' unique blend of power-pop is less immediate and irreverent than their forebears, but the resulting sounds manage to come across contemplative without sacrificing hooks. (Dirt Cult Records)