Dang it all, Italians are charming, with their sports cars and delicious food. Power-pop act Suinage can be added to that list as well. The group’s full-length debut, Shaking Hands, is a charming 12-song strong collection. The three-piece name-checks Joe Jackson and the Replacements as influences, though the former comes through more than the latter. There’s even a hint of Candy Apple Grey-era Hüsker Dü, specifically on sad songs like “All Eyes on Me” and “There’s No Time.” These songs are tight and bouncy, and that counts for something, clam-flammit.
There’s a smattering of pop-punk energy spread throughout the record, like on opener “Toothbrush” and “Chump,” though the songs that make the bigger impression tend to be more mid-tempo. Concluding track “There’s No Time” is easily the best song on the album, building slowly but surely into a cavalcade of cacophonous guitars. It takes a little while to get there, but when it does…bang, fireworks. Dissonant, indie rock fireworks that sing in pretty good English despite originating from the country that gave us Andrea Boccelli.
Admittedly, the record does feel a little long at 40 minutes; it’s as if the band wasn’t sure they’d get to make another album. Still, though, there are some worthy gems to be found here, like the fist-pumping “Don’t Pass Me By” or the loose tumbler “Blacklist.” As each song ticks by, I get the feeling Suinage probably has a dynamo live show. The melodies are pleasing, the guitars crunch, and the drums pound away, though the group isn’t afraid to slip in the occasional slow/pretty part, like in the bridge to “Blacklist” or “Underneath the Leaves.”
Shaking Hands is somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades record. It’s got flashes of Got the Time and Tim with a healthy dose more somber songwriting. If ya dig indie rock, pop-punk, or power-pop, there’s something to take away from this album.