Rob’s Album Of The Week: Pagiins’ Opium Den Pool Party

pagiinsIf you ever think about Arkansas, I doubt the first thing that comes to mind is its music. Since it’s in the heart of America’s South, you’d probably expect twangy banjos and not rock ‘n’ roll by any means. Fayetteville act Pagiins are about to turn that view upside down with their crazy fuzzed-out debut Opium Den Pool Party that’s currently out via Brooklyn indie label Old Flame Records. It’s a fast-paced album through and through while the riffs from both Leif Hinshaw and Aaron Smith’s guitars consistently give each track a jolt.

You can sense a distinct influence of the garage rock scene in California (reminiscent of bands like Thee Oh Sees, Fuzz and pretty much anything that Ty Segall touches) in Pagiins’ sound. A tad bit of psychedelic tendencies but not too much as to make everything all tripped out. Opium Den Pool Party is psychedelic in the sense that you could picture yourself blasting the album while you’re driving down a desert highway in a big red Cadillac convertible.

Pagiins’ name is an interesting play on words. Frontman Hinshaw said the band had a goal with that name. “We wanted it to evoke a certain image in your head. Specifically, Nicholas Cage getting his face torn apart by bees.” Let the visuals from the scene from the 2006 remake of The Wicker Man seep into your mind, and then enjoy my top tracks off of the Album Of The Week:

I absolutely love the drumming from Dick Darden on “Wide Awake.” It revs everything up immediately for a blistering track that is a must for every rock ‘n’ roll fanatic to check out. Fast and ferocious, “Open Your Mind” is a ripper that’s a sure firestarter when it comes to making people go nuts on the dance floor. Another one I dig is “Idiosyncratic Ant Blues;” it has driving riffs with a dramatic downbeat for the lyrics to kick in, and then it gets all chaotic when the chorus hits.

The only show Pagiins have coming up is at The Empty Bottle in Chicago on October 19. Let’s hope this fearsome foursome makes their way up to New England soon. They have Opium Den Pool Party available only on cassette as this article is being written, but that’s when you should turn back the clock and whip out your handy and trusty tape player. Grab a copy of Pagiins’ debut, you’re bound to love it and I bet all your friends will too.

Stream “Wide Awake” here:

Pagiins’ Website:

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