Pinback's technical prog-rock gurgles with Zach Smith's thick yet fluid bass lines and Rob Crow's guitars and samples. The two take turns singing, weaving together phrases over a meticulously pieced-together bed of drum machines and rudimentary keyboards. But you wouldn't know all that from listening to the band's new disc, Summer in Abaddon. Smith's bass is played up so high that it sounds like a clean guitar, and it's almost impossible to tell when exactly one voice trails into the other. At a recent show in New York the duo, clearly enthused about performing, didn't seem to care too much about singing in tune. Then there were the insults directed at the lighting guy who dared shine anything but a blue light on the band. Despite all that, finally being able to make sense of the band's hypnotic sound made it all worthwhile.
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Sander Wolf