Five Feet…No Inches by PintSIZE (Half-Pint Reviews #1)
Pucker up for a melodic bludgeoning
Riches everywhere. That’s how I view cruising for new music in the used racks. Sure, everything is available on some streaming platform, but those chance finds you look at askance and only invite into your home because they’re so cheap can turn out to be a wild time. Such is the case with PintSIZE’s Five Feet…No Inches. Someone cast it out, I picked it up, and now it’s in my stereo…for better or worse.
PintSIZE was an L.A. pop punk band that released one album back in 2005. Judging from the cover art showing lead vocalist Pint taking a bat to what may be an old, unhoused ATM screen, I’d say her height gave Five Feet…No Inches its name. Bassist K-Nasty was the principle songwriter, with occasional input from bandmates like guitarist Dick Image, who is none other than Paul Gilbert of Mr. Big and Racer X fame. Plant a guy named Chachi behind the drums for some traditional-grip madness and there’s your band, a band with enough attitude to drink other bands under the table, then urinate on them before moving on to the next round of victims. Excess and bad behavior are the drugs on which PintSIZE thrives.
Thus, the band’s pop punk is of the beefier sort. The tight songwriting, the melodies and the hooks are all there, but so is a surprising degree of metal in the riffs, solos and general oomph. Imagine the lovechild of Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” (2002) and Sum 41’s Chuck (2004) getting nasty back in the shadows by the dusty, out-of-commission cigarette machine. Pint’s voice is more Belinda Carlisle (The Go-Go’s) and Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) than Beki Bondage (Vice Squad) or Brody Dalle (The Distillers), which is perfect for those tracks that stumble drunkenly toward bubblegum pop and the band’s crusty crack at Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” (1988). From start to finish, it’s hard-hitting but fun.
Five Feet…No Inches is also a riot lyrically. Song titles like “My Fist Your Face,” “Say Yes to Drugs” and “Lesbotronic” convey the mood, but my favorites are “Lick It Up Bitch” and “Fucked Up in the Food Court Again.” Then there’s the nu metal-ish “Milkshake,” which is filthy enough to make me laugh every time. PintSIZE has all the humor and none of the occasional maturity of its peers, who insisted on making more albums and taking themselves seriously, making this an album that can’t just play in the background, because it demands attention. If this has Avril Lavigne in it, it’s Avril Lavigne through a greasy looking glass.
And Pint is the Jabberwocky. Not only is she the vicious but lovable voice of the music, she’s also the star of the packaging. There she is knocking back Jack Daniels and smoking a cigar in the bathtub, apparently wearing nothing but her pentagram wristband and studded bracelet. Now she’s sitting on the john in some dive, whities around her ankles, smoking a cigarette, porn mag open on the floor in front of her. (“Resist and Exist” in graffiti over the toilet paper.) She never looks at the camera without a facial expression situated at the tipping point between inviting you in or kicking your ass. These suburban adventures of a seriously lost soul carry a parental advisory for everything.
You may have your favorites in pop punk from the aughts, but chances are you missed this one. If that’s the case, track this down, close your eyes, press play, and wait for it to sink in like an aluminum bat to the brain. It’s good.