Sunday, April 29, 2012


This is (a slightly edited) review of a Pinback show in Boston, May 26, 2005, originally published in 2005 here:

I showed up late for the show because an old friend was in town visiting. Was torn between wanting to see her and wanting to see the band. I opted to do both and missed out equally on both ends. This was the first time I saw Pinback and they looked nothing like I'd expected of them. I'd expected some college rock types with glasses and self-conscious artfulness; I got a Black Francis-like lead singer wearing a Black Flag t-shirt with a chain to his wallet. They looked even less like people who are in a band called Goblin Cock, which believe it or not, they are. (They actually released an album titled Bagged and Boarded last year. Check out the album cover). By the time I got to the [Pinback] show, I missed some of the best songs (including my favorite "Soaked," a song that could have been a megahit in 1974 for some brutha from Philadelphia) but I did catch "Fortress," a track guaranteed to drill its melody deep into your brain for eternity the moment the air around your ears vibrates the tune into you. The recent album, Summer in Abbadon, is brilliant pop, one of the best albums of the past five years, but the show itself—perhaps because I was caught between half-seeing an old friend and half-seeing a great band—was underwhelming. They were clearly brilliant instrumentalists, effortlessly playing extraordinarily intricate arrangements and a dizzying array of instruments, and harmonizing as if channeling Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison on Rubber Soul. At the show, they were selling copies of a new e.p., Too Many Shadows, which contained new songs as good as those on Abbadon, brilliant songs which no one will ever hear or care about, their obscurity consigning them to a line in some unclicked link on an indie music website from the first decade of this century. What a wonderful band.

No comments: