Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Patient and precise Indie Rock from Pinback

We’ve had some power Pop this week and some Indie Pop. Today we’re going to split the difference and go with some Indie Rock. Pinback out of San Diego, CA is comprised of two main songwriters, Armistead Burwell Smith IV and Rob Crow, two drummers, and 10 other guys who have sat in in various capacities over time. They have released 4 albums since their formation in 1998 and today I want to introduce you to their third album, 2004’s Summer in Abaddon.

The cover looks like the result of a Facebook Fake Band exercise.

The cover looks like the result of a Facebook Fake Band exercise.

They have an edgy sound that is groove-heavy but cerebral as well. There is a certain mathematical quality to much of the guitar work, I think because it has a very clean, undistorted sound and it is played very precisely. It doesn’t come off sterile, though. The ballads are intimate and the rockers are aggressive.

All 10 songs from this release are on my iPod. That is extremely rare. I don’t think it’s as much because the whole disc is strong as much as none of it is weak, if you take my meaning. There are a couple are real standouts, but even the “fillers” are very ear-friendly and interesting. Check them out.

  • Non Photo-Blue – This is a low-key opener for the disc, but it is pretty representative of their sound. It starts with vamping guitars and a simple melody but over time the keys come in, the vocals start layering and soon you realize the song has gotten complex and cool.
  • Sender – When I first heard this song, I kept waiting for it to take off, but it just settles in comfortably like a Sunday driver.
  • Syracuse – This song is painstakingly built one block at a time for two minutes before it’s in full swing. I love that kind of patience.
  • Bloods on Fire – This pretty ballad is as close to “filler” as you’ll find on this release and it is a thoughtful, ethereal song in 7/8 time. I love the vocal melody they chose as well.
  • Fortress – This is one of my two favorite tracks on this release. Check out the video.
  • This Red Book – Neatly plucked guitar and plodding drums back the fresh chord progression and melody.
  • Soaked – They build this groove for almost a minute before the vocals kick in. The song gets several layers but never gets very big.
  • 3×0 – Another small and patient song that swells. You actually should hear the whole thing to appreciate it. Not sure why this old bike safety video was chosen by the random fan who posted the song on YouTube.
  • The Yellow Ones – I like the spacey keyboards and again the core of the song – the chord progression and vocal melody – is what draws me in.
  • AFK – They close with a rocker. This is my other favorite. Check the whole song and video.

Apparently, these guys are close to releasing a new album, which you can learn all about on their website.

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April 23, 2009 - Posted by | Indie, Popular, Rock

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