Mix Pick Ottawa Explosion: Needles//Pins

In the nation’s capital, many of us consider Ottawa Explosion Weekend to be the official start of summer. If there’s one band that encapsulates everything that makes Ottawa Explosion the great festival that it is, it’d be underground garage-punk sensations Needles//Pins. They’re Van City’s answer to The Black Lips, creating irresistibly fun and catchy songs about simple subjects. The band’s name comes from a song by ‘60s English beat group The Searchers, later to be covered by The Ramones — a band that’s heavily influenced the ‘70s punk sound of Needles//Pins.

The band are an all-around, let-loose party — much like the Ottawa Explosion —  and they’ve yet to release a bad album. The three-piece band maintains a stripped-down and relatively simplistic songwriting style. As with so many other bands on Dirt Cult Records and Mammoth Cave (RIP), these folks take power-pop to another level. Their catalogue is full of  must-listen releases, highlighted by 12:34 LP and Shamebirds.

Sonically, the live performance follows the script of the recorded albums. However, expect bodies to fly, eardrums to burst and vocal chords to rupture as they play live, an experience you don’t get just by listening to their records. This band is a must-see, and fans of fellow Explosion veterans Sonic Avenues, New Swears, Steve Adamyk Band, and White Wires will feel right at home with Needles//Pins.

Catch Needles//Pins at Club Saw on Saturday, June 19 at 11:30 p.m. as part of Ottawa Explosion.

Photo: Album cover of Polaroid 7″