Black Pines, a London-based quintet, draw inspiration from a range of musical genres, including alternative, rock, indie and blues. Jam-packed with punchy powerhouse vocals, dramatic riffs, and commanding instrumentation, their newly released EP, Bodies, epitomises the frustrations of being in a toxic and chaotic relationship, whether that’s within the realm of personal romance or broader hierarchical socio-political structures.
By Ruby Brown
What also makes Bodies such a captivating listen is how it represents a clear departure from Black Pines’ earlier releases. The band has clearly embraced a darker and more alternative sound, signifying not only a clear departure from their earlier indie-rock singles like Power and Hope but also, most notably, a move away from the melancholic and emotive style found in Heaven’s Son.
Starting the EP on a strong and almost cinematic tone, Death Ballad not only captures your attention, but also keeps you engrossed in every lyric delivered by the band’s frontman, Tom Clark. Broody and punchy, with riffs evocative of Queens of the Stone Age in the early noughties, Worlds Apart continues to elevate the EP’s electrifying sound. Situated at the very heart of the EP, What Are You Scared Of provides a fleeting opportunity for contemplation regarding a romantically intense and unpredictable relationship. Here we see Black Pines at their most stripped back, with what is undoubtedly the most raw and ballad-like track on the EP. Run and Hide, however, goes on to veer the EP in a different direction once more, rekindling the theme of struggling to let go of someone or something you know who is destructive.
Yet, the standout track from Bodies for me has to be Rule Over Me – what a remarkable way to conclude such a consistently strong EP. Anthemic, bold and heavy, the record’s single draws upon recent socio-political shifts across the pond, and loudly calls for widespread change, leaving you with an undeniable sense of urgency and empowerment.
Bodies evokes the feeling that the best of Black Pines is still yet to come. With the band already earning strong critical acclaim, the EP ignites the kind of excitement that aspiring bands can only dream of evoking in their audience. I can’t wait to see where their new sound takes them in the future.