The cover of Pinky Pinky’s debut album looks like something Willy Wonka might come up with on a week-long mushroom trip. All manner of sweet and savoury cuisine is carefully arranged on a dining room table, but this spread has a twist. A snake looms from behind a pineapple studded with olives, freaky dolls are everywhere and there’s a Santa figurine hiding behind a gruesome green jelly. Smartly-dressed children line up behind the table, Pinky Pinky are visible at the back, peering through the window from outside. The LA trio’s name (which derives from a mythical monster) is spelled out with biscuits, along with the LP’s title, Turkey Dinner. Clearly, they love a project.
“We thought it was funny…” begins drummer and vocalist Anastasia Sanchez.
“We stayed up until 2am making all this horrible food, the kitchen smelled like pickles and cheese, it was disgusting and so stinky,” adds bassist Eva Chambers.
Guitarist Isabelle Fields wrinkles her nose at her bandmates, their words clearly taking her right back.
“We should have made scratch‘n’sniff LPs!” quips Sanchez.
The artwork matches the oddball vibe of an album tinged with punk, rock‘n’roll and the DIY stylings LA bands do so well. It’s out next month via Innovative Leisure, and Pinky Pinky are midway through their first UK tour. Chambers and Fields became friends in middle school in their hometown, and met Sanchez in the girls’ locker room at high school. They played basic punk in Chambers’ attic, and began shaping their sound. Two lo-fi EPs preceded Turkey Dinner, the fullest realisation of their vision yet.
“People say we’re garage rock, and the first EP definitely is, but we’ve grown out of that,” says Fields.
“Plus, we’ve always played in my attic, so it’s attic rock, actually!” drawls Chambers. “The attic is big, dark, echoey and haunted, it used to be a speakeasy in the ’20s. It gets really, really hot in there.”
Turkey Dinner is the product of the band’s wild imaginations, the music forming a springy bed for Sanchez’s lyrical whimsy to bounce around. “My favourite line is from the song My Friend Sean,” she says. “It goes: ‘Those pattern jeans/His ass busts through the seams,’ I mean [laughs] it’s funny.” She whacks an arm into the chilli sauce bottle on the table in front of us for emphasis. “It started when Eva and I got trapped in San Francisco after missing a plane,” Sanchez continues. “We met a boy named Sean who was really nice to us and the rest is history! We were singing little jingles, then it turned into a fantasy writing session, it’s fun masking things or being very blunt.”
Fun defines Pinky Pinky. It’s enabled them to rise alongside peers including Starcrawler and The Lemon Twigs, and caught the ear of Dave Grohl, who invited them to play Foo Fighters’ Cal Jam event last year. “I just want to make good albums, man,” Sanchez finishes. “I want to see the world…”