by Chris Conde
Pinko is a mash-up of raw intensity and ferocious shredding — a sound smart, groovy and sure as shit not metal core, despite the traces of hardcore punk that punctuate the music.
Consisting of members from The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, Sohns and Ghost Police, Pinko’s intense and chaotic sound isn't surprising. Frontman Guillermo Mendez leads the trio with galloping, distorted guitar riffs and vocals that range from 1990s emo-revival shouting to super high-pitched screams that'll make you think of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato.
Never anticipating playing guitar live in front of crowds, let alone singing and playing, Mendez says the transition into doing both was a big step for him as musician, and that while his other band Sohns still is active, Pinko was birthed out of search for a replacement drummer for Sohns, when they found in Ghost Police and Blithe drummer Ethan Campa.
“I could never get the Sohns guys together to practice," says Mendez, "so I brought my guitar and some riffs and [Ethan and I] started writing shit." Jared Flores, who has contributed his musician skills to local hardcore outfits Amygdala, Blithe, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy and Ghost Police, eventually wound up the third member of Pinko lending his glass shattering bass tones to the mix of turbulent rock and roll.