Horace Pinker

Texas One Ten

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Over a dozen years on, Horace Pinker (a poorly named band, not an unfortunately named solo artist) has stayed remarkably close to its original sound and artistic intent, which is often harder to accomplish than one might think. Texas One Ten, the band's fifth full-length album in an on-again, off-again career, bristles with the same sort of jangly-noisy energy as their previous efforts, this time captured with perhaps a bit more clarity by producer Mass Giorgini. In his mid-'90s heyday, Giorgini was known in some pop-punk circles for making his clients sound worryingly similar, but then, the bands in question included the Queers, Screeching Weasel, and his own group, Squirtgun, all of whom sounded uncannily alike to begin with. Giorgini (now more preoccupied with his day job as a college professor) doesn't impose his familiar bubblegum-punk sound on Horace Pinker, letting the quartet's own mixture of '70s British and early-'80s California influences predominate. Songs like "Polysci 101," with its unison vocal hooks and Buzzcocks-like melodic economy, are par for the course; the band's impressively tight vocal harmonies, rarely a concern for punk bands, are showcased handsomely throughout. Hardcore detractors might find Horace Pinker's tuneful harmonies and uniformly melodic songwriting too polished for their tastes, but those who don't mind a little power pop with their punk (Methadones or early Green Day fans, for example) will find the album's charms easily enough.

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