Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.
In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.
Henry Beard of Down For Tomorrow writes to Weezer’s Pinkerton
It has been nearly 5 wistful years since the summer in which we first met. My acne has cleared, my braces removed and my voice no longer cracks. Other albums and have come and gone since then, but none can replace the memory of my first. You were there for it all; sweaty days on my skateboard, cliff jumps, heartbreak, underage drinking and sunburns. Every song is a hallmark of the summer I continually long for. With each changing of the season I reflect fondly upon those days we shared together and I thank you for everything you showed me.
‘Tired of Sex’ is when I would put my headphones in, get on my board, and gun it down the street for a day of sweat, friends and adrenaline. The opening is as raw as my skinned elbows, with guitar feedback preceding four distinctive counts on the bell of the ride. As a hormone-riddled teenager, I could never understand how anyone could possibly be “tired of having sex”, while I sang along with jealous undertones to Rivers listing off the names of his sexual conquests.
‘Getchoo’ was harsh and cutting. Fuzzy guitars and not-so-on-pitch wails perfectly encapsulated an all-too-relatable state of anguish and despair at a disappointing love life. This song taught me not to lament my inability to talk to girls, but rather focus my time and energy into skateboarding and iced coffee.
The following three tracks further detailed the emotional frustration associated with Rivers’ quest for love. However for me, this point in the album was where the songs simply became great rock music with big, loud drums and powerful distorted guitars, contrasted by the sweet, nerdy timbre of Rivers’ voice.
‘The Good Life’ still stands as one of my most favourite songs, with each listen still evoking an intense sense of nostalgia. At the time, I knew that I was living through the “good life” that Rivers longs for in the song, and I appreciated every sunrise to sunset as if it could have been the last. Unfortunately, there must been have a point in my life where that became true. Probably when school started back for the year…
‘El Scorcho’ is a classic. The main single off the record. However, I don’t think I ever listened to any of the songs in isolation during my adolescence, as I had a personal rule, that if I listened to one song, I would listen to the whole record. And for that reason, Pinkerton is just about the only album I can sing along to in its entirety. Unfortunately, I would come to break my cardinal rule when working in a bar that frequently played the quirky, rolling tune on a busy Saturday night. When the trepid, falling drum fill kicks off the song, I would gurgle along with the band in singing “El Scorcho!” before pouring a beer or shaking up another Espresso Martini.
The second half of the album, while less exciting than the first, was still just as loveable. By the time ‘Pink Triangle’ would be playing I’d be drenched in sweat and near the beach, with my vocal chords somewhat exhausted from belting out the rest of the album. ‘Falling for You’ and ‘Butterfly’ offered a beautiful contrast to close out the record, which — when I listen to it now — still brings me to the brink of tears. While the lyrical content is not the most profound, Pinkerton has been and still is such an important part of my musical education.
Thank you Pinkerton. I love you now, forever and always,
The video for Northern Beaches act Down For Tomorrow’s heartfelt new punk singalong ‘What Could Have Been’ is out now. Watch below & catch them performing live at Sydney’s UsFest TODAY!
UsFest 2019 Lineup
Tickets on sale now
Eat Your Heart Out DJs
Between You and Me
The Dead Love
The Last Martyr
Down For Tomorrow
Big Music Bandits
Saturday, 6th April
Oxford Art Factory, Sydney