San Diego’s Pinback make mood music for the moments in our lives when a soundtrack is absolutely necessary. Their jams are brooding, contemplative and complex, while somehow entirely more accessible than the coffee shop slop Ben Gibbard started churning out a few years ago.
The sound bends and swells when it needs to but never catches fire long enough to force a scramble for the volume knob. They started gaining steam back in the late 90’s and haven’t let off the pedal since. For some reason I imagine that pedal powers a Prius. Or a hybrid that runs on french fry oil…but I digress.
Information Received, on Brooklyn’s Temporary Residence Records, is the fifth studio album by Pinback, and while the bands cast of characters has been a revolving door of sorts, Pinback’s end results are the property of bassist Armistead Smith and guitarist Rob Crow. They’ve both played in countless indie/math rock bands, so their chops are top notch, yet neither flex those math muscles much with Pinback. The new record boasts tight, carefully crafted songs that showcase their pride in shimmering pop, while never abandoning their 90’s-indie sensibilities; the knack for melody, intricate rhythms and plenty of reverb.
Just pick a record and let it play. Long drives work just fine.