Concert preview: Baltimore post-punk quartet Post Pink keeps 'em wanting more

Andy Downing, Columbus Alive

Baltimore post-punk quartet Post Pink subscribes to that old showbiz maxim "always leave 'em wanting more."

A majority of the band's songs clock in well under two minutes, with "Take Me," off its most recent EP,I Believe You, OK, registering at a near-epic runtime of 2:12. Concerts, in turn, are similarly concise affairs. The band's first show lasted roughly seven minutes, according to singer Angela Swiecicki, and its current set falls just shy of 15 minutes. In other words, if you're fashionably late for the four-piece's headlining turn here, you'll be arriving just as the musicians begin breaking down their gear and loading it back into the tour van.

"We've all been on the same page with that where it's like, 'I don't want to sing another chorus. They already heard it once. The song's over,'" said Swiecicki, who joins bandmates Emily Ferrara (bass), David Van McAleer (guitar) and Sam Whitelaw (drums) for a concert at Carabar on Wednesday, June 29. "We like the idea of short songs and a short set. It keeps peoples' attention."

Fortunately, it doesn't take Post Pink long to make an impact, and truncated songs like "Icky Arnold," a twitchy turn inspired by a Joyce Carol Oates short story, and the teetering-on-the-rails thrum of "Made In Mexico" still manage to leave behind yawning craters even at 90 seconds.

The band makes a similar mark with its words, which confront feminist issues ranging from catcalling -"Hey, baby, baby, what can I do? What can I do to get inside of you?" Swiecicki sneers on "(S)hit" - to sexual liberation ("Take Me").

"I'm 27 now, and as a teen and young adult I don't think I [grasped] the pressures young women have on them," said Swiecicki, who recently started volunteering at a battered women's shelter. "People don't realize how bad it is. Men don't fear walking down the street by themselves … but if I'm walking down the street and I see a man coming towards me, there's always a little fear because I don't know what that person is going to do."

Rather than cowering, Post Pink's fearless songs find strength in this discomfort, embracing the lingering unease as a means of engaging listeners - and, hopefully, changing minds.

"I hope [the music] makes people feel weird and they think about [the issues]," Swiecicki said. "I've always been very drawn to lyrics in songs, more than anything. I look for something that challenges me and makes me think."

These kinds of high-minded goals are removed from the far-simpler genesis of Post Pink, which launched nearly two years ago after Swiecicki, Ferrara and Whitelaw bonded over an unexpected musical source.

"We were all in the car going to a party together, and we were listening to this Bush song called 'Swallowed,' and we were like, 'We should start a grunge band together!'" Swiecicki said. "We really just wanted to sound like Bush at first … and somehow it turned into this."


9 p.m. Wednesday, June 29

115 Parsons Ave., Olde Towne East

ALSO PLAYING: Flasher, Tin Armor, Raw Pony