Bad Penny Exclusive Download: Pinx’s ‘Say When’

Atlanta’s the Pinx are red-hot lately, having just cranked out two new releases. Lucky for you, dear reader, today you get to hear a slice that appears on both of them – and is available as a free download exclusively on the Bad Penny.

The garage band’s primary focus is a seven-song effort called Southern Tracks Sessions, which features new originals along with cover versions of “The Girl Can’t Help It” (previously performed by Little Richard) and “The Contenders” (the Kinks). Their accompanying 7-inch contains two of those songs – “A Little Too Late” and “Say When.”

Here’s the latter tune:

• Bad Penny exclusive download: the Pinx’s “Say When

And below is some hilarious, R-rated – but truly insightful – background on it, courtesy Adam McIntyre. He also wrote the song itself.

Basically the song is, “Holy fucking hell, I have to have you right now because the one kiss you gave me last night made me feel like a bulletproof man with a titanium cock.” Does the guy get the girl? Hell no … maybe.

It’s about the moment between lust and rejection and just trying so hard for one more kiss. I think Andre Williams said it best when he penned “Let Me Put It In”: We don’t know if he gets to, but damn, we feel his pain. So I kept the lyrics and concept very simple, and we just beat the crap out of it to keep it urgent.

A really old friend of mine from Montgomery, Alabama, was working at Southern Tracks and was nice enough to get us some time (it wasn’t free; “free” studio time is something you pay for with your sanity instead). Tom Tapley’s his name, and he’s engineered some great, Grammy-nominated records lately. Great guy, amazingly easy to work with, gorgeous studio, we recorded to 2-inch tape and Tom let me take the tracks home and mix them at my studio (Killybegs Sound). We were so excited to be there that we played everything a little fast.

On “Say When,” I think the vocals are overdubbed, and there’s an extra rhythm guitar. Otherwise, that song is live – meaning the main guitar, including the solo, bass and drums are all recorded together, so it’s got this crazy energy to it. We can all sort of fake that energy – like we had to on the first record [last year’s Look What You Made Me Do] – if we have to record our parts separately. It’s not hard to play in time and stomp your foot and get into it in the studio when you’re playing to something that’s already recorded, not if you’ve done it a few times before. That’s fine. However, there’s just no substitute for the chemistry that happens when I’m looking at Joe [Giddings] and Jim [O’Kane] and reacting to the things they’re doing.

All guitar solos on the record are live for that reason; I wanted the listener to hear the boys reacting to the solos and us playing off of each other. We even kept a live vocal on “The Girl Can’t Help It.” It was the … maybe the last song we did, and my voice was raw and ragged, and coincidentally totally appropriate for the song. I think I may have accidentally changed some lyrics to be more lewd than Little Richard’s, and his version is actually pretty lewd. 

In short, it’s live-live-live with almost no overdubs in an age when it’s expected that a project will be mostly overdubs and punch-ins and fixes and Auto-Tune. At this point, that kind of thing is what we expect our fans to hate, so we stay away from Auto-Tune and punching-in to fix mistakes until things are perfect. Plus, nothing dates a record like overuse of some gimmick. You can get Auto-Tune on your iPhone now. It’s done. Auto-Tune jumped the shark. The single most important thing about us is energy, so we record that.

If you like what you hear above, hop over to the Pinx’s page on Bandcamp and throw down some loot for their Southern Tracks Sessions.

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