August 20, 2012

Song Review: Pinback's "Proceed to Memory"

Maybe I'm remembering them entirely wrong, but Pinback has never really been your regular, run-of-the-mill "indie rock" cliché. I guess they subscribe to the calmer side of the genre that permeates the west coast in its broader sense, with their meticulously picked math rock progressions and mid-tempo riff dalliances, but I've always heard an underlying loudness in Pinback's sound even when they're at their most quiet. The band has been away for some time, with their last effort being five years ago in the lulling Autumn of the Seraphs, but on October 16th, the San Diego duo returns with their fifth LP, Information Received. Being that their former label Touch & Go downsized operations in 2009, Pinback has found a form-fitting permanent home on the post-rock-friendly label Temporary Residence, which counts the likes of the thunderous Explosions In the Sky and Envy to its roster. "Proceed to Memory" is the album's first listen, and it's one that re-invites listeners back into their echoing scope while introducing them to a subtly reinvigorated direction as well. While "Proceed to Memory" sparkles softly in its opening moments with dimly-lit neon synths orbiting around Armistead Burwell Smith IV's metallic bass lines, the track pillars around the rising tide of Rob Crow's vocals and a series of call-and-response anthemry. It's the sound of Pinback building a fire for those stilled moments that tend to sink behind the light, and you can hear the flames raging by track's end. "Proceed to Memory" is stylistically familiar enough to offer a friendly reminder of their return, but it doesn't hurt that they pull that restrained loudness out from under in case you don't receive the message.

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