Thursday, November 15, 2012
Pinback: Information Retrieved
So these guys might be slight left field to what I normally cover on here but it's my party I can math rock if I want to. To Pinback's credit their musicianship alone should appeal to fans of prog in either rock or metal form and their most recent album has taken on a darker and more serious turn, thus it might make a better entry point for those of you whom their earlier work might have held to bouncy of an indie rock jangle.
The traits which has put Pinback head and shoulders over the hipster indie rock they are often lumped in with are not only still present but have been perfected upon. The fluid guitar playing is even more seamless and fluid in its interplay with the vocals.
No time is wasted establishing the moodier tone as the opener, "Proceed to Memory" simmers with a more introspective melody that glides over the syncopation. The song builds in rising layers.
The duo displays one of strengths of their close to faultless songwriting in articulate pattern the guitar and bass intertwine spotlighted from the beginning of "Glide" modulate in almost Fugazi like punches with the melodies dripping I between the cracks.
One stylistic change for the band is the inclusion of much more piano that begins to take the stage on "Drawstring" where I also noticed a somewhat of a theme developing in the lyrics of man vs technology and very drab social commentary taking form.
The more care free rolling melodies heard in their previous work in he sing song chant of "is there another side of your story/ is there something else you're not telling me" in "Sherman" (see video below)
This is the first album where I can recall being able to pick out the bands influences which are still not worn on their sleeves but the post chorus like bridge from "His Phase" reminds me post-Farewell to Kings era Rush, as the chord progress tighten around the drums. The piano in "Diminished" recalls some of Tears for Fears more reflective moments at times and Dark side of moon Floyd. I have always heard shades of the Police in the band and here they are of the more "Tea in Sahara" variety, but in the hands of this duo's songwriting magic they are well veiled to even to much scrutiny.
The dreamy elf like weaving of the vocals at the beginning of "True North" is counterbalanced well against the drifting shift of guitar chords set against piano and the appearence of strings. the vocals constrict into an interesting pattern around the swell of the song.
" a request " is a return to the bands earlier sound, but even here it's not like they are returning slavishly to all too familiar sounds or creating any sort of redundancy. They continue to uphold their legacy with the type of artistic integrity most bands of this ilk should be envious of. The production while a fraction or two slicker than "Autumn of the Seraph" gives ample space and preserves their sound rather than detracting from it with an abuse of effects or wizardy.
When the guitar of "Winslow , you idiot" takes a turn into a more straightforward rock direction than what typically is thought of in relation to the band they turn round and do something different in the verse. The piano often takes a more typical rock approach when it sees center stage rather than just providing color from the wings, but when this occurs the vocals steer clear of going the more obvious routes, though I'm surprised at how prominent role they take on a song like "sediment" , which by no means turns them into the Fray , but flirts with teen sitcom soundtrack in its dramatic build.
In the initial listens I would go ahead and give this album a ten as I think it builds upon the bands strengths and it's tone is more all purpose for my normally borderline depressed mood, where as earlier albums were more happy music for me , not that this album is glum, I think the more ultra realism found in the lyrical world view of the album contributes to this or maybe these guys had their insurence run out and are no longer medicated thus the Leap of maturity away from the rolling bounce of their other albums. If you have an appreciation for math, indie or modern non- dream theater progressive rock then this is worth your while, if already a fan of the band like myself then it sits as another classic.