I’ll admit that I don’t listen to much local music, yes pile on the hate. I blame a poor upbringing and the lack of good role models in my childhood. There is undoubtedly no lack of local talent, but plenty of accusations of unsingaporean-ness. You know what I mean, people calling out on bands singing with fake accents or trying too hard. So we see originality usually in the form of a brash, in-your-face abuse of Singlish (see: Ai Sio Kan Mai by The Boredphucks). The Pinholes comes across more subtly, keeping you wondering if the minor incongruities in the music are the result of lapses in the ability to sound ang moh or deliberately and craftily sneaked in.
This is the band that your secondary school class joker goes off to form in order to attract girls. He is influenced by 60’s psychedelic pop, and also happens to be hugely talented. Playing at Night and Day along Selegie road, The Pinholes serves up retro rock ‘n roll sounds flecked with local idiosyncrasies and just that right amount of self-deprecation that makes any band great – as said by the great and very dead Lester Bangs “The first mistake of art is to assume that it’s serious.” (and we all know how dead people never lie). I’m not the biggest fan of nostalgia-mining bands, but these guys are something else with their funny, extremely catchy and sometimes ungrammatical music . The quartet consists DD hailrul(guitar/vocals), Ridhwan Roslan(bass/vocals), Famie Suliman(guitar/vocals), Qush Azmi(drums/vocals). Playing songs from materials old and new (Long live rock n’ roll/Preferably/Youth of Gold – which was written for the Singapore Youth Olympics), they more than warmed the crowd up for Dunerats – or as The Pinholes were pronouncing for the longest time, dunrats.
This is a band to look out for in the near future, and will hopefully become a long-term fixture of the local music scene.
Photos by Maria Clare Khoo, courtesy of Other Sounds.