Pinebender is slow. Pinebender is loud. And on its second full-length, the Chicago trio led by Chris Hansen perfects its formula with a bombastic set of songs that wander around on a mission to find Neil Young and Dinosaur Jr. From Codeine-driven lulls to bursts of blown-out guitar feedback, the lovelorn The High Price of Living Too Long With a Single Dream (an homage to The Great Gatsby) will simply hypnotize listeners into swirling submission. But don't expect a carbon copy of My Bloody Valentine psychedelia -- Hansen's hard-luck singing paired with the instrumental swells places this more in the lineage of J Mascis' best from You're Living All Over Me to Where You Been. "Begin Here" starts with a repetitive Chavez-type riff before totally exploding into the sound of Sunny Day Real Estate playing Black Sabbath. The big, sweet stomp of "Varsity" is like Godspeed You Black Emperor! doing crunchy indie pop. "Peterson Home" shows that this band isn't afraid of seven-plus minute songs (and will make you shout requests like "Cortez the Killer" at the stereo). And "Well-Calibrated Moral Compass"? More pure Dinosaur-worthy goodness! The world simply needs more bands like Pinebender. The High Price of Living Too Long With a Single Dream is one of the best guitar rock albums of 2003, and anyone with a penchant for Neil Young-influenced rock & roll would do well to pick up this album and Canyon's Empty Rooms.
AllMusic Review by Charles Spano