California’s Pintsize was an absolutely brilliant flash in the power pop, pop-punk, hard rock, and heavy metal cauldron. Thankfully, the cadre’s music has been immortalized on this 14 track disc, titled Five Feet…No Inches. Here, the fearsome foursome pulls listeners into a confrontational, hedonistic, and thoroughly entertaining musical joyride.
The anno 2005 album has a hell-bent-for-destruction intent to it that’s uncommon. Songs are richly melodic and “hummable”, aiming to embrace one of the most enjoyable traits from both power pop and punk.
Drummer “Chachi” sets killer grooves, adding flashy fills only when necessary. He’d be out front, all double bass drum guns blazing, if this was a speed metal act. Pintsize is far closer to pop, so “Chachi’s” main assets lie in adding rock solid ‘pocket’ playing to the songs, hanging out exactly where he needs to be in the mix.
Vocalist Pint (Heather Dotson) serves as the band’s messenger, relaying schadenfreude-laden tales of stealing other women’s boyfriends, getting fucked up in the food court (after saying “yes, motherfucker” to drugs, no doubt), and all sorts of other shenanigans. Her ‘cute’, youthful-sounding voice doesn’t devolve into the much more common screaming: despite the deliberately over the top (and joyously dirty) lyrics, she keeps her voice clean. Power pop and punk icon Ginger Wildheart‘s alter ego act, Hey! Hello! continues to follow this winning vocal formula to this day.
Honestly, for fans past a certain age (perhaps that age being where assault can land them in jail with a permanent record), they don’t come here for the lyrics. Nicely penned, the lyrics remain a fiery touch, a great garnish that pulls it’s weight just fine alongside slabs of face melting instrumentalism. Chances are, listeners discover underground gem Pintsize by ‘backtracking’ one of two bandmembers – guitarist “Dick Image” or bassist “K-Nasty“. Choose your poison; both dastardly deviants are explored in future sentences.
Both “Dick Image” (Paul Gilbert) and “K-Nasty” (Linus of Hollywood) shine in the modern rap-metal cover of “Milkshake”. For those who’s dark hearts always wanted to hear Gilbert, er, Image, channel his most evil, pyrotechnic King/Hanneman impressions, effortlessly sped up about 30%, listen no further – two solos on this tune will melt faces and ears clean off. Punchy bass guitar backs up the staccato groove, adding a fist-pounding, headbangingly vicious element to a song that’s already heavy. And, like the rest of the disc, it’s provocative and confrontational, yet oddly humorous: “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard”.
Full of bombast and classic heavy metal glory, the fire-breathing dragon of an instrumemtal “Pillage The Village” sizzles the album into life. The brief acoustic guitar motif is just a ruse to lull one into thinking the song, and the album, will be calm and peaceful.
“My Fist, Your Face” loads up the ironic, well-positioned juxtapositions: celebratory, nu-disco handclaps following “I’m gonna kick your ass all over the place”; intimidating male gang vocals meshed to the pop-punky, sweetened vocal, and just enough distortion to keep the vaguely hair-metal era, poppy riffs firmly rooted into much heavier territory.
Five Feet…No Inches remains a genre-crossing smorgasbord, with the band choosing to cover songs by Paula Abdul and Judas Priest.
The multi-layered acoustic reprise and coda “The Village Was Pillaged” closes the album with laughter, six and twelve (maybe more) string guitar insanity, and finally, peaceful birdsong.
Five Feet…No Inches features 14 well-crafted tunes, both originals and covers. This Pintsize disc is an enjoyable listen for fans of power pop, pop-punk, or even the thrashier flavors of heavy metal. Well done, folks. Even in 2017, this record holds it’s own, showcasing a place in time when life was just a little more… laissez-faire, feckless, reckless.
Track Listing with Run Times:
Pillage the Village — 1:17
Shut Up and Let’s Do It — 2:34
My Fist/Your Face — 2:56
Straight Up — 3:28 (Cover: Paula Abdul)
Lick It Up Bitch — 3:20
Say Yes to Drugs — 3:00
I’ll Get You Back — 3:13
Fucked Up in the Food Court Again — 2:40
Wish You Never Met Me — 2:52
You’re Dead, Pass It On — 2:37
Eat Me Alive — 3:31 (Cover: Judas Priest)
The Village Was Pillaged — 2:04
Milkshake 3:07 — (Cover: Kelis)
Lesbotronic — 2:42
Heather Dotson (credited as Pint) – lead vocals
Paul Gilbert (credited as Dick Image) – guitar, vocals
Linus of Hollywood (credited as K-Nasty) – bass guitar, vocals
Chachi – drums