Summer in Abaddon

Touch & Go

These post-Modest Mouse crossover times are strange. Aside from Death Cab For Cutie, who seem to be making their own ascension from the annals of indie obscurity, I’d always thought Pinback was the quintessential indie-pop band that stood a chance of catching on with the masses. This might sound odd, because I envision Pinback songs being born in a very clinical, intellectual environment where rhythmic riff flow charts are scrawled on dusty chalkboards, their short-lived elliptical existance meticulously plotted out. I think it’s the densely layered melodies that form the backbone of every song that makes me feel this way. The truth is, the band takes this robotic sterility and warms it in the southern Californian sun to create something much more vibrant and inviting.

Both “Non Photo-Blue” and “Syracuse” positively ripple like open water, buoyed by fluid bass lines. “Fortress,” with its muted 8-bit electronics, sounds like a mid-summer night’s Tetris dance party. Only closer “AFK” sounds like it comes close to muscling its way through the band’s self-imposed sound barrier, wrestling away from its manic opening into a melancholy blanket of minor chord chirps.

Possibly the best compliment I can pay this album is that since receiving a review copy I’ve included one song from it on every mix CD I’ve made for friends. I’ll likely keep this up until the well of songs on this disc runs dry or until they come out with a new one. At this point in their careers, the turnaround time should be short since they’ve already got the songwriting down to a science.

Touch & Go:

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