Thousand Needles (which I believe is a World of Warcraft reference) hail from Jakarta, Indonesia. LePork Records recently put out the band’s seven song, self-titled debut EP, though it really is more of a glorified demo. The sound is straight up early/mid-90s pop-punk. The songs are fairly well-crafted and have decent enough bones that allow you to pretty accurately figure out exactly what the band was going for. Most of the songs are performed in Indonesian while two of them are sung in English. For my money, they should have stuck with their native language. On some tracks, like “Lari Teruss” and “Ikuti Aku,” Thousand Needles actually achieve what (I think) they were going for. “Lupakan Kendali” and the two English tracks don’t quite make it.
“Intro” sets a pretty good tone: modern (well, modern as of the mid-90s) pop-punk. Think “Cheshire Cat”/”Dude Ranch” era Blink-182, which is a very recurring theme for the duration of the EP. Melodic, chunky power chord scales and uptempo drums (double kick especially – drummer Gevi seems to have a hint of a metal background). “My First Song” follows, and contains some fairly sloppy guitar work, at least at the beginning. I can’t help but compare the voice on the English-speaking lead singer (not sure if it is Hafiedz or Ipoel) to Gerardo (you remember Gerardo, right?!?) when he sings in English. Structurally they had the right idea, just didn’t quite pull it off. “Inspirasiku,” which translates to ‘Inspiration’ is an alright song, though the mix is off, so it is very snare and vocal heavy while the guitars are relegated way into the background.
“Lupakan Kendali” comes next, and features a sound that is a little more along the lines of a Pulley/Screw 32 sound during the body of the song than other tracks. “Ikuti Aku” (which translates to “Follow Me” – don’t say Dying Scene never taught you anything!!!) is a catchy, up-tempo pop punk track, and is one of my favorites on the album. It is followed by “Lari Teruss” which is pretty standard four-chord pop punk following the standard loud-quiet-loud pattern. It sounds not unlike Blink-182’s “Growing Up” without the catchy little lead guitar riff. Otherwise, my other favorite on the album. “Thousand Needles” comes to a close with “Falls Apart,” the second English-language track on the EP. The song structure is very reminiscent of Blink’s “All The Small Things” played by a high school garage band. The harmonies don’t quite work, and something in the lyrics seems to have gotten lost in translation: the chorus contains the line “I will not die / ask your lover / And I will not break / when my heart falls apart.” Again, you can sorta see what they were going for, but as with the rest of the EP they don’t quite pull it off. Still, for a fairly young band who don’t exactly hail from a punk rock hotbed, “Thousand Needles” is a decent enough first effort.