I'm starting to hate this town and the people living in it. Everyone's being mean and nosy, picking on the kind ones just because it's easy. Men can act like total assholes, get through with it and be supported by their equally lousy friends while their girlfriends, blamed for not being willing or able to deal with their boys' shortcomings, are left alone and spat on. Maybe i'm naive, maybe I should stop being hopeful and quit thinking that there's good in everyone. People have long quit trying to be any good at all. It's so much easier to act like a dick and pretend that you're helpless when you're nothing but a complete failure. To quote a short-lived 90s band, I hate everything about you.
Ahem. This in Pinback's third album and it's good as usual. No surprises, no big changes in the sound, the production is neat, the songs are sub-par, the packaging is glossy and beautiful. Constantly good bands are very scarce and we should cherish them as they rightly deserve. Pinback's music is complex but never heavy, it's delicate like ivy intertwining on a wall, fragile yet steady. Voices mingle, guitars lines caress each other, wrapped around tight bass & drums.
There are quite a few jewels in this record. It starts vigorously, with three catchy pieces before it slowly drifts into quieter, comfortable territories. And they saved great songs for the end as well."3x0" is imrpessive, mainly because of one line ("you're wasting my time like mini-crosswords do") and a glorious piano in the end. "The Yellow Ones" is brilliantly numb and bitter, "AFK", the album's closer, is the liveliest track, halfway in between 80s pop and old-fashioned emo.
The beginning of the album is equally impressive. "Non Photo-Blue" is reminiscent of Police among so many things, which could be a bad thing but isn't. "Sender" is lively, complex and you can almost feel the song existing, moving by itself right before your ears. "Syracuse" is as poppy and catchy as Pinback gets. It's my favourite, how surprising, evolving around a simple line "i step down into sand / water carries us from here" and taking me into more comfortable places. They're impressive songcrafters, doing their thing, devoted to their numbness, not really paying attention.
I'd like to conclude this review with an exerpt from "Non Photo-Blue" that will sound familiar to many : "she's posting all the time, but the boards are down / it's a burned out building / he's spending all his time on his back / staring at the ceiling / they spared themselves that way / I'm with that. I'm with them / you aren't. you're alive, dammit."
/oct 15th 2004/