For all Pinback's seductively serpentine guitar lines, throbbing rhythms and intertwined vocals, the West Coast indie outfit have always maintained an air of evasiveness on record. Even at their poppiest and most plaintive, Pinback refused to show some heart. In Summer In Abaddon, the boys let down their guard. With Rob Crow and Armistead Burwell Smith IV's yelps weaving around each other, subtle synths doubling the vocals and webby, math-informed guitar lines, their songs retain the same anthemic, repetitive qualities. But the melodies are less self-consciously dissonant, even evoking early REM at times. There are lyrical stabs at unpacking indie-boy-style existential angst, and the swings from shouty emo to crystalline pop make it Pinback's best record yet.
Pinback swing by Lee's Palace Tuesday (October 19).