courtesy of Pinback
For a long time, I missed out on Pinback entirely. Perhaps it was the ‘back’ part of their name—the part that is inextricably linked to Nickelback in my head—that made me think, “no, not for me.” Or perhaps it was just the fact that we never really ended up in the same sonic space—or if we did, I didn’t even notice they were there. But one day, a guy my best friend was dating made her a mix and we were listening to it at her house and “Fortress” came on. It was sort of like when I tried guacamole for the first time—like, “how have I been missing out all this time?”
Anyways, we’ve been cool ever since—me and Pinback (and guacamole), that is. The band’s latest album, Autumn of the Seraphs contains much of the prettiness that drew me to them initially. The San Diego duo (comprised of Zach Smith IV and Rob Crow) seem to specialize in a distinct blend of electronic arrangements that build with the steady insistence of a runner’s heart beat and simultaneously ring with a ballerina-like grace. At times, I must admit, they veer toward the too emo side of things for me. But what keeps me interested is that while their songs may have a tendency to blend together (a frequent criticism), they also still manage to surprise. See the lyrical plot twist of “Good to Sea” (which not only plays with homonyms, but with ideas (“It’s good to see you…It’s good to see you go.”) or the catch-you-off-guard–sweetness of “Walters.” It’s that last tune, in fact, that I’m hoping to hear when the band plays the Fillmore on February 10.