Sometimes I wish my mind has less going on in it. Information Retrieved made this very clear. The playing isn’t bad, the choice of scales and arrangement are attractive, but the music is blasé, dull, and lifeless. If Pinback were a rapper they would be Big Sean. This album doesn’t lack vigor, but it lacks any kind of vigor that imparts urgency, or conveys vitality. In South Florida we have these little 4 or 5 inch lizards called anoles. They have a defense mechanism that allows their tail to break off, and due to some kind of nervous mechanics the tail will wriggle about on the floor for a while. Information Retrieved come across as one big anole tail, wriggling about in sonic space for some 30 odd minutes. It left me wondering where the lizard is.
Pinback is like a cooler, more self-aware, more contemporary Yes, or Genesis. Their music rests somewhere between entertainment, and existential manifestations, and the players are incredibly adept at playing their instruments. Their compositions and arrangements don’t make use of fancy aggrandizement, but they are certainly lofty in their technical ability, and their attention to detail. That is, this band relies moreso on its ability to play their instruments well than their mystique as entertainers to create an engaging musical experience. And their ability more than suffices to set the stage for a compelling occasion, but it’s all for naught.
When I look out at the world around me, I don’t see anything that really seems suited for this music. Now given, I am not the entirety of the audience for this record, and there are undoubtedly plenty of people out there living lives that this music makes sense with. But, if you’re a person existing in the United States without health insurance, without job security, and without certainty, I doubt you’re gonna find many reasons to listen to this record. I’m just being honest here, not trying to point any fingers or insinuate anything about this band or their audience. But, this mostly feels like the soundtrack to Ikea shopping trips, coffee grinding, and baby naming. It’s incredibly domesticated music, and these are incredibly wild times, and I just cannot relate to this stuff at all.- Zachg