Northern Ireland’s Sea Pinks are back with album number three, and they were quick about it. I guess when you have a pocket full of songs as good as these you want to strike while the iron is hot. Sea Pinks are the vehicle of Girls Names drummer Neil Brogan. The new album Freak Waves picks up where last year’s Dead Seas left off. It’s more jangling goodness with some slight shifts and tweaks that add to the pleasure gained from listening to Sea Pinks.
Opener Lake Superior is an instant classic with its rockabilly swagger and infectious chorus. It’s the most immediately infectious song on the record, but it gets better. The pensive, sad ones are where Brogan seems to really excel. On False Spring he almost sounds like a Beach Boy, easily bringing to mind the melancholy beauties that Brian Wilson use to pen. An Act of Treason is another sunset over the waves tear-jerker. The entire record has a sadness about it, but it’s subliminal because the songs retain a twinkle to them that belies the sadness. I love the upbeat jangly rockers like Lake Superior and A Pattern Recognition, they’re so well done it’s hard not to, but the sad slower ones are the rip tides that don’t let go.