Rob Crow’s latest full-length Living Well slipped past me this year and it’s small consolation that I’ve managed to score this disc, the second single from the album. After putting years into Pinback with Zach Smith and a whole litany of side projects from experimentally obtuse (Optiganally Yours) to abrasively metal (Goblin Cock) and everything in between, it’s funny that Crow should use his real name to pen songs most like his most easily accessible pop collaboration. “Up” is a chugging clockwork piece of perfection. Crow’s wispy vocals breeze through his elliptical acoustic guitar riffage and impeccably timed drum machine rhythm. The only thing lacking is Zach Smith’s rubbery gummy bass lines to render it a full-on Pinback track. The low-end percolations of “Forced Letter” fill in those lacking gaps, proving that Crow — like Smith and his Systems Officer spin-off — can manage the totality of Pinback’s sound on his own. The two remaining songs, “Three Hundred and Three” and “Three Hundred and Two,” are the definition of filler. They’re both pleasant and bland enough interludes of less than a minute each to fill out this EP past the 6 minute mark. Up isn’t essential by any means, but it serves as an excellent appetizer for an album that, by all indications, is worthy of tracking down.
Temporary Residence Ltd: www.temporaryresidence.com