Pinback at Metro | Concert preview
Indie-rock stalwart ponders mortality with soaring melodies.
Remember when your mother told you to be nice to the nerds because they’re the kids who become doctors, astronauts and presidents? Add to that list indie-rock stalwarts. Exhibit A: Rob Crow and Zach Smith, unabashed enthusiasts of science fiction, comic books, elfin languages and bedraggled facial hair who are responsible for some of the underground’s most infectious sounds of the last decade. As Pinback, the pair layers plaintive harmonies, low-end guitar shimmers and elaborate, unconventional bass lines underscored by heavy lyrics.
The San Diego group’s new Information Retrieved, its first full-length in five years, is no exception. “Proceed to Memory” opens with dueling, pointillistic bass patterns that wax and wane amid pulsating drums and a series of spooky synthesizer whispers. “And when the seasons get you down / I’ll come running to tuck you in,” Crow croons earnestly in the closest thing the track has to a chorus before concluding with the downer refrain, “And soon all you’ll have is the memory.”
Like many Pinback songs, the lyrics take on the loaded subject of mortality as crisp, reverb-free sounds soar into the ether. Crow and Smith’s entrancing yet mechanically precise pop rarely veers from this template, beaming anthemic, overlapping melodies particle by particle directly into the outer realms of their own meticulously crafted universe.