While it's been five years since their last release, virtually a lifetime in the digital era, the knotty beauty of Pinback's sound makes their fifth album, Information Retrieved, feel as though it could've been released the next day. Existing in a state of both eternal dusk and dawn, Crow and Smith pull off a beautiful balancing act between light and dark, always shifting things here and there so that neither aspect is too dominant. This allows the album to take on whatever characteristics the listener needs it too, readily providing a bit of melancholy to turn to when things are down, or hopeful warmth to keep you riding high, all within the same song. Though this means they pair haven't done a whole lot to innovate over the years, they've created a sound so purely theirs that any significant change would feel disappointing. Pinback's ability to remain so consistent is likely due to indie auteur Crow's penchant for side project (Aspects of Physics, Goblin Cock, etc.), allowing the singer and guitarist to get his other ideas out so that the delicate interplay he and Smith have developed can remain intact. The flipside of this, however, is that Pinback is either a band that you get or you don't, and even though Information Retrieved is an excellent album, it won't do a whole lot to win over anyone who has already decided that Pinback isn't for them. For everyone else, the album delivers plenty of the gloomy/sunny/plaintive/happy pop that has made them one of the more instantly recognizable bands in the indie landscape.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney