Debut EP The White Side by Toronto quartet Piines jumps out the gate with opener “Peripheral”, nodding at bands like Battles and Soundgarden while keeping a strong emphasis on post-rock with their use of delay pedal. Guitarist and vocalist Chris Mortensen adds to the frantic energy of the rhythm section and both guitars with a vocal delivery that would be at home in early alt-rock acts like The Killers or Kasabian.

Despite the pace that the first track establishes, unfortunately that’s as fast as it gets. The next two songs focus more on mid-tempo rhythm and lofty riffs, which while not a bad thing, falls short in terms of vocal and guitar melodies. Though they still showcase Mortensen’s vocal range and both players’ ability, they pale in comparison to the opener. What would be good to see going forward is more of a fusion between these instruments and players, like what is achieved on closing track “Winnow”. With that said, the final track is more of a dirge-turned-aria than it is the single of an alt-rock band, so it will remain to be seen whether Piines wish to take their approach in a faster or slower direction.

With these stylistic critiques aside, there is a great deal of raw talent here. The band are clearly developing their sound and choices, and while this is not an EP I would return to, it is enough to pay them the attention they deserve going forward. Here’s hoping that their next release will provide the sort of progression that they are clearly working toward.

The White Side Track Listing:

01. Peripheral
02. Lipstick
03. Guide It In
04. Winnow

Run Time: 15:44
Release Date: March 31, 2018

Don’t take our word for it, though. Listen to the full EP and draw your own conclusion.


Director of Communications @ V13. Lance Marwood is a music and entertainment writer who has been featured in both digital and print publications, including a foreword for the book "Toronto DIY: (2008-2013)" and The Continuist. He has been creating and coordinating content for V13 since 2015 (back when it was PureGrainAudio); before that he wrote and hosted a radio and online series called The Hard Stuff , featuring interviews with bands and insight into the Toronto DIY and wider hardcore punk scene. He has performed in bands and played shows alongside acts such as Expectorated Sequence, S.H.I.T., and Full of Hell.