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Pinback
SUMMER IN ABADDON
(Touch and Go)

With the emo umbrella covering such a large variety of bands, itís easy to forget that the genuine article can be as moving as itís supposed to be. San Diegoís Pinback, who for years have worked the same terrain as Sunny Day Real Estate, Mineral, and Jawbox without sounding exactly like any of them, are a prime example of what you might call "good emo." Summer in Abaddon, their debut for Touch & Go and third full-length overall, is not as catchy as anything by their peers, but the complex arrangements from songwriters Rob Crow and Armistead Burwell Smith IV will challenge those willing to give it a few listens. Thereís not as much beat science here as on their previous material, but the material is more focused. The opener, "Non Photo-Blue," combines the albumís heaviest riff with mathematically precise drumming, reverb-heavy piano, and swirling vocals. Just as intriguing are the keyboard-heavy "Bloods on Fire" and "The Red Book," the latter driven by harmonics and a whammy synth line. Pinback have been recording since 1998, and theyíve schooled some younger bands as theyíve progressed: "Syracuse" is a reminder that they still do Death Cab for Cutie better than Death Cab for Cutie, and the discís closing track, "AFK," is the angry yet melodic screamo song Sparta wish they could write.

BY RYAN STEWART


Issue Date: November 5 - 11, 2004
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