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Pinback



Talk about impressive resumes. Pinback's members can claim previous service time in such noted San Diego thinking person's rock ensembles as Three Mile Pilot, Black Heart Procession, Heavy Vegetable, Thingy, Physics, and Optiganally Yours. And, amazingly enough, Pinback doesn't sound much like any of those bands -- that is, beyond, a penchant for warped quirkiness that ties all those projects together and leads one to conjecture that there must be something in San Diego's drinking water....

Anyway, Pinback's warped quirkiness is of a decidedly pretty, rather ethereal sort. Their instrumentation is assured but fairly sparse; their songs move at moderate speeds. Traces of the sad, vaguely carnivalesque sound of Three Mile Pilot can be found here in the thin mournful keyboard lines and tinny pianos parts, which spiral around equally thin guitars and plaintive dual vocals. At the same time, there's the feeling that all this lovely melancholy is just a ruse, because careful listening reveals a penchant for Lynchian lunacy; note the songs' lyrical content, populated by manic "da da da whoo whoo" sorts of choruses and strings of dark non sequiturs that sound like nursery rhymes on some serious crack. And how about that pert scratching buried beneath those angelic melodies and chiming guitars? So Pinback is weird, yes, but pleasantly so, for these warm, intelligently constructed avant-pop compositions really do tickle the ears in the nicest of ways.

It all started in early '98 when Pinback's founding savants, Zach Smith and Rob Crow, found themselves with a little time on their hands, remarkably enough, which they used to put together some new songs on Smith's PC. In time, the project evolved into Pinback's '98 self-titled debut album, a ten-song exercise in dreamily controlled strangeness, from which "Loro" is culled. After recruiting drummer Tom Zinsor, Pinback released their Some Voices EP in 2000.

In 2001 Pinback returned with yet another piece of avant-pop perfection, Blue Screen Life.