Last updated: 02/07/2010 11:00:00 AM
Pinback combine ethereal pop harmonies with tranquil rhythms and beautifully hypnotic vocals. Marrying the stylistic expertise of 3 Mile Pilot and Thingy this band's music is extremely touching and dreamy.
In January of 1998, San Diego¹s Pinback was formed as a part-time recording project by Armistead Burwell Smith IV ("Zach") and Robert Rulon Crow Junior. While 3 Mile Pilot, Zach's previous band, had just fell into a long hiatus and Rob was able to utilize some down time in his perpetually busy musical schedule, Pinback was allowed to evolve as a more serious project. Adding drummer Tom Zinser (also of 3 Mile Pilot) and taking their creative time, Pinback recorded, mixed and mastered every song on their self titled record at home on Zach's personal computer.
After playing only three shows, Tim/Kerr Records of Portland, Oregon immediately recognized the musical prowess of this band and signed Pinback for worldwide distribution rights. Unfortunately, their recording agreement with T/K immediately became problematic and six months of legal grappling then ensued. Finally released from contract, Pinback were immediately signed to Ace Fu Records, NY for world wide manufacturing and distribution, and licensed to R&S, Belgium for European manufacturing and distribution.
The two years following the release of the duo¹s self-titled debut proved to be extremely productive for the band. Their fan base grew rapidly and the band embarked on two city West Coast tours and two European tours. Their hard work began to pay off. In February of 2001 National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" ran a glowing four minute audio review of the CD. Immediately, the disc was within the top ten bestsellers on Amazon.com and the band started to gain significant momentum. In August of 2000 the Tree Recording Company from Chicago had released a four song EP by the band entitled, "Some Voices." With virtually no promotion the EP promptly charted at #42 on the CMJ Charts. By October of 2000 Urban Outfitters added the CD into rotation at all forty-two stores nationwide for seven months of in-store play. The word continued to travel about Pinback and in March of 2001 the band was spotlighted on the home page of Napster.com as a "Featured Artist," right during the peak of Napster¹s controversial media coverage. Fortunately, all of the attention the Pinback received since their debut did not effected the band¹s songwriting writing agenda. In June of 2001 Rob and Zach finished recording, mixing and mastering (once again on Zach's personal computer) their long awaited second full length record, Blue Screen Life; and this record is undeniably the band¹s strongest work to date.
As with previous Pinback releases, the duo¹s propensity for thoughtful instrumentation and dense layering of melodies is remarkably unique and nothing short of beautiful. Every song on Blue Screen Life holds muted harmonies, hypnotic rhythms and lush orchestration that subtly resonate long after one listen. The duo trade vocals as with comfort, poise and precision. Yet, despite all of the underlying complexities in Pinback¹s music their songs somehow always seem sincere, honest and simply dreamy.
Blue Screen Life shows the band¹s most creative and focused direction as a collaborative effort. The songs have a new energy and vibrancy about them which carries this record into new artistic terrain; terrain which will no doubt be charted by Pinback for others to only admire and attempt to emulate.