Sunday, 6 October 2013

Pinback september 2013

Pinback and Deathfix  |  Il Motore

           PHOTOS  |  VALERIA VEGA

It is always cool when you discover and watch an out-of-town band that has a decently-sized fan following. In this instance, the band that I discovered here with the surprising following was Pinback. When I was looking for bands to cover, I was looking through the concert listings and came across this show among all the names of bands and decided to give Pinback a listen. Their music on youtube sounded pretty good me when I listened to it, so I requested their gig and promptly forgot about their aesthetic and sound until the night of the show. Fast forward to the night of at Il Motore (what I believe to be one of the finest punk bars in the city), and I was surprised by a rather large crowd of people waiting for the bands. I hadn’t even heard of this band before my searching of the show listings, and here there was a crowd of enthusiasts (including a desk worker at my university that asked me about it a day or so later). In fact, there were people manically singing along for most of Pinback‘s set. I suppose that a band that has been around for over fifteen years, has dealings with groups like Goblin Cock and Team Sleep, and has had their music played on the OC soundtrack can expect that kind of enthusiasm, though. Deathfix were the openers.

Deathfix are a group of older American gentlemen, and they play a brand of grungy, somewhat eighties gothy post-punk with reverbed-out guitars and sweeping piano leads. What is interesting to note about this band is that they are on Dischord records (one of the seminal independent hardcore labels of the 1980s, started and run by Minor Threat and later Fugazi mainman Ian MacKaye), and have two former members of Fugazi. Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of Fugazi in their music. They played a lot solid jams and have good songs, although they unfortunately played to a much smaller audience than Pinback. That is rather unfortunate, as people should hold off their pre-show drinking and come out to see the openers. They missed a good set. 

The venue filled up quite a bit more, and Pinback came on stage after a period of time. They have a drummer and two guitarists that also play bass, and one of the things that amused me about their setup is that Rob Crowe (one of the guitarist/bassist/singers) plays a black BC Rich Warlock bass. For those of you who don’t know what that is and are too lazy to do a google image search, the Warlock is a guitar sold by BC Rich that is known for having a pointy body, and it has a certain reputation, along with the Dean Razorback and anything sold by ESP that isn‘t a Gibson or Fender knock-off, among musicians for being popular with 12 year old metal kids. I remember my friends and I being in middle school thinking that those kinds of guitars were really awesome, so I can confirm that. As such, whenever I’m out at a metal show and I see bands using those kinds of guitars I always try to make the “man, that band of 13 year olds is really good!” joke. They’re just ugly, ugly guitars, so it amused me to see it on stage with a respected indie rock band. 

Pinback’s set, however, was great. They synced up their songs with videos played on a projector screen, and they used a number of different videos that depicted astronomy, Victorian-era commentary on science, videotapes being shoved into machines, churning flames, and other such fun things. Their music performance was well-rehearsed, and the vocals were strong. I found myself taken with the delay-ridden riffs that seemed to be mathematically inspired. They play what I assume a pure rationalist in the Cartesian tradition would compose if they were a composer. Every note played was deliberate; there is nothing “jammy” about this music. I dug the well-written vocal harmonies, as they overlapped each other in such a way to add to the layering patterns of guitars, bass, and delay. It was a cerebral good time.

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