I am not the target audience for throwback garage rock. It’s hard for me to see the point of taking something that was so vital in its day and cloning it for modern audiences. Lucky for me, the Pynnacles aren’t in the cloning business. The Portland sextet, helmed by semi-legendary local frontman Sean Croghan and a few members of fabled surf-punk act Satan’s Pilgrims, opens its debut record with punchy guitar chords reminiscent of the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me,” but that’s before Tamar Berk’s organ oozes over the track and Croghan channels Paul Weller on the chorus. Suddenly it’s apparent that the Pynnacles’ sound—playful and urgent—is only loosely tied to the decade from which it draws inspiration.
The interplay between Croghan and Berk is a selling point throughout the record. But drummer Thom Sullivan and the trio of Pilgrims also show up to play, transitioning effortlessly between moments of circuslike psychedelia and swirling, powerful walls of sound. The Pynnacles can do catchy and church-y (“She Got Me Hypnotized”) but excel at fast and furious (the screeching “Walk”). This band finds inspiration in the wild garage rock of the ’60s, but refuses to handle its source material with cotton gloves. Nope, that shit is definitely getting under the Pynnacles’ fingernails.
SEE IT: The Pynnacles play Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy Blvd., with No Tomorrow Boys and Verner Pantons, on Saturday, March 30. 9:30 pm. $6. 21+.